(Bloomberg) -- The average annual household water bill in England and Wales is due to rise 7.5% from April, as water firms pass on higher energy costs linked to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Customers will pay an average £448 ($555) per year for water, a £31 hike on last year’s charges, according to industry body Water UK. The higher bills reflect the inflationary impact of soaring energy prices but are below the current benchmark inflation rate, the body said.

UK consumers have been hit by steadily rising prices, with food inflation still heading up despite a broader easing in recent months.

“We know that any increase is unwelcome, particularly at the moment,” said Stuart Colville, Water UK’s director of policy. “Next year’s bills will support what is already the highest level of investment on record, with a further £70 billion set to be spent over coming years on building new reservoirs and ending overflows into rivers.”

Water companies were criticized last year for illegally dumping raw sewage into rivers. Water UK said infrastructure investment was needed to stop so-called “dry spill” discharges.

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