An investment in the Hartlepool region has been revealed today - but the price will be paid by an increase in household bills.
Hartlepool Water has announced an £8.5million investment, which will be paid for by average bills of 37p, per home.
Despite this rise, the company has said that average bills are lower than they were three years ago, and the money raised will help to maintain and improve the town's water services.
The increase in billing from last year is 2.1% - but prices in 2015 were dropped by 7.5% in the first place. Average water bills were cut by £11.
Kevin Ensell, Hartlepool Water Operations Manager, said: “Bills are back down to what they were three years ago thanks to the reductions we’ve made and the priority we place on being efficient and offering value for money.
"We’re keeping costs as low as possible for the long term while investing heavily in the region in line with what customers told us was important to them."
Hartlepool Water, which is owned by Anglian Water, has broken down how the investment will pan out over the next 12 months.
Around £1million will be spent on maintaining water pipes and equipment across Hartlepool, £3.5million will be spent on increasing the "resilience" of the Wynyard water treatment works and £4million will go on running the equipment and operating the network.
The company has also said that customers using a water meter will pay even less, with the average metered bill standing at £120. This will equate to 32p a day.
Mr Ensell added: "Water meters remain the best way to save money and stay in control of your bill, with the annual average metered bill coming in £17 cheaper than without a meter.
“In our region more homes now have a meter, but there are still many customers who are not using the meters they have fitted and we would urge them to switch and save.
“It’s free to switch and if you aren’t completely satisfied you can switch back, for free, within two years."