Water bills rise by 5.7% in 2012
The average household water and sewage bill in England and Wales is forecast to increase by 5.7%. This takes into account a rate of inflation of 5.2%, and will mean an average bill of £376 in 2012/13.
These new rates will be effective until March 31st 2013 and are not a blanket increase throughout England and Wales; water suppliers' charges will vary for individual householders depending on which company supplies their water and sewage.
The company which will have the largest increase in combined water and sewage cost for householders is the Southern Water company, which will see its bill increased by 8.2%. Conversely, the lowest rise in costs for combined water and sewage will be in Wales, where Dŵr Cymru will raise bills by only 3.8%.
Ofwat have said that this raise in rates was 10% less than what the water companies had originally asked for, but is calculated before inflation is factored in. An interesting thing to note is that the rate of inflation will be factored in as an increase to the rates every year until 2015.
For further information, please visit the Ofwat website at : http://www.ofwat.gov.uk
Hair loss and thinning can be an emotionally and physically traumatic experience for many men and women. But as with any changes in our lives, if we understand it properly we can lessen the impact it has on our lives. We naturally lose hair throughout the day. Studies show that between 100 to 150 hairs per day is normal. Hair that is shed daily is in the Telogen (or resting) phase of hair growth. There are two other phases; Anagen - the active growing phase and Catagen - the phase where hair starts to break down. Normally about 10% of the hair on our scalp is in Telogen phase, these hairs are no longer growing and are preparing to shed.
Hair thinning can occur for a variety of reasons including stress, nutritional and environmental changes as well as hormonal changes like pregnancy, puberty and menopause. Hereditary causes are probably the most significant cause of hair loss.
Tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the scalp that can also be a cause of hair loss. Treatment comes in the form of oral antifungals that can penetrate the hair roots and cure the infection. Hair loss due to Tinea capitis will generally grow back.
Itchy scalps may cause mild (but reversible) hair loss as well. A cause may be seborrhoeic dermatitis (dandruff) or environmental conditions (such as irritated scalp from chemicals like chlorine in shower water). With dandruff, using a good dandruff shampoo which includes ketoconazole usually does the trick. But if your scalp is sensitive, we recommend you use one of our shower filters.
Some "myths" about hair loss include:
* Longer hair does not put strain on roots.
* Shampooing regularly does not cause hair to fall out quicker, it just removes the hair that was going to fall out anyway.
* Colouring, perming and conditioning hair will not usually cause hair loss. But severe processing of hair may cause hair loss and breakage.
Water is a precious resource. We should always use it wisely because it's not as abundant as you might think. The average person in England and Wales uses 150 litres of water a day. We use almost 50 per cent more water than 25 years ago, partly because of power showers and household appliances.
This year we have had some serious drought warnings, the Environmental Agency UK have said:
"East Anglia and south east England are in drought. Parts of central England, south west England and south east Yorkshire continue to be affected by dry weather. We anticipate that the risk of drought in the spring and summer in these areas is high."
Even though hose pipe bans are not in place right now, they may start being in place in April. Start saving water today with some of these easy-to-use tips:
* Wash vegetables and fruit in a bowl rather than under a running tap, then use the leftover water for watering house plants.
* Try keeping a bottle or jug of water in the fridge instead of running taps until the water runs cold.
* Wait until you have a full load before switching on the dishwater or washing machine. Did you know 'half-load' programmes use more than half the water and energy of a full load?
* Don't leave the tap running while you brush your teeth, shave or wash your hands. This can waste up to six litres of water per minute.
* Using your toilet as a bin wastes flushes - think before you flush.
The above are just a few tips on saving water in the home that we think everyone could probably do with keeping to!
Also we're happy to report that our shower heads all have water-saving devices in them, to restrict the water flow to a sensible 9.5 litres per minute, which result in a great shower experience without wasting water.
Spring Health Tip - Eat Fresh and Local Seasonal Foods...
When I was growing up, my mother always knew what fruit and vegetables were in season. I have fond memories of going to the market with her and seeing her meander through the stalls and make a beeline directly for the freshest and most delectable morsels of the season.
These days, when I go to the supermarket it seems that everything is always in season. In the dead of winter, we can still get summer berries. Apples are shipped all the way from New Zealand, when for many weeks or months we can feast on far superior local versions.
Spring is all about renewal and rejuvenation. This rule doesn't just apply to what is happening outside of our bodies, but it also applies to inside us as well. Our bodies also renew and rejuvenate along with the rest of nature. So during this season it is especially important for us to eat fresh and local seasonal foods, full of nutrients and vitamins. This will give our bodies the building blocks it requires to rebuild and rejuvenate.
Some British Foods In Season Throughout Spring:
* Bananas, oranges, pomegranate, passion fruit, gooseberries & elderflower.
* Asparagus, Jersey royal new potatoes, purple sprouting broccoli, spring cabbage, carrots, dandelion, wild mushrooms.
Meats and Fish:
* Welsh lamb, pigeon, rabbit, lobster, mackerel, wild salmon, sea bass, sea trout.