Provident Waters Action

Ofwat extends sewage dumping inquiry to include South West Water

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The regulator Ofwat has expanded its investigation into the dumping of raw sewage to include South West Water after finding “shocking” failures in the way the majority of water companies run their waste treatment works.Ofwat said on Tuesday it had extended its inquiry after heightened concerns about South West Water’s environmental performance and suggestions it was not complying with its legal obligations.The enforcement action being taken by the regulator is part of a large inquiry into potentially illegal dumping of raw sewage by privatised water companies.

Six out of nine companies – Anglian Water, Northumbrian Water, Thames Water, Wessex Water, Yorkshire Water and now South West Water – have been served formal notices to gather further information for enforcement purposes, the regulator said.In 2020 the Guardian revealed that water firms had discharged raw sewage into England’s rivers 200,000 times the previous year.

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