Water companies fail to hit environmental targets

30th July 2021


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IEMA

None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.

In its progress report, the Agency says companies are “failing to live up to their responsibilities”. Although there were 285 fewer pollution incidents than in 2019, this was still the second highest number since 2015. Southern Water and South West Water both performed significantly below target, with the Agency calling their performances “consistently unacceptable”. More than half of serious incidents were due to Anglian Water and Thames Water.

Southern Water was sentenced to pay a record-breaking £90m fine earlier this year after pleading guilty to 6,971 unpermitted pollution discharges, while Thames Water was also fined £4m and £2.3m for separate pollution incidents.

Environment minister Rebecca Pow said companies must have more ambition. “I will not hesitate to set higher expectations for both water companies and regulators to ensure a level of service that the people of this country and the environment deserve,” she added.

Read the full report at bit.ly/WaterPerform

Image credit: Shutterstock


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