Water firms' performance 'disappointing', says Environment Agency

8th September 2014

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  • Water ,
  • Reporting ,
  • Pollution & Waste Management ,
  • Prosecution


Thomas Brunton

The performance of the nine companies in England supplying both water and sewerage services was disappointing in 2013, says the Environment Agency in its annual assessment.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/environmental-performance-of-the-water-and-sewerage-companies-in-2013" target="_blank">The assessment reports that the number of serious - category one and two - pollution incidents was almost 50% higher last year than in 2012. "This is moving away from our expectation of a trend toward zero by 2020," says the agency.

nmental performance assessment (EPA) tool was introduced by the agency in 2011 to compare performance between water companies. All firms are expected to achieve good performance against these indicators by 2015. The 2013 EPA scores for the serious pollution indicator show a decline in performance by six of the nine companies assessed.

forming the companies last year that they should be working towards self-reporting of at least 75% of pollution incidents, the 2013 assessment reveals that only two, Southern Water (77%) and Yorkshire Water (80%), achieved this level of disclosure. By contrast, Northumbrian Water self-reported only 39% of pollution incidents in 2013. Overall, companies reported 66% of incidents last year.

with licences and permits also deteriorated in some areas in 2013. Although compliance with numeric wastewater discharge permits was 97.4% last year, this still means that around 90 sewage treatment works failed to comply with their permit conditions in 2013.

ompanies achieved better compliance with discharge permits in 2013 compared with 2012, says the agency. Compliance with other licences and permits in 2013 was generally high, however.

evern Trent Water is described as having achieved "leading" company status, while Southern Water and South West Water are ranked as "poor" performing companies.


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