Water and wastewater company pollution incidents: Ofwat reveals best and worst performers

Management & Regulation, Processed Water, Waste & Resources

A new report by regulator Ofwat has assessed the UK’s water and wastewater companies on several key performance indicators, revealing which are hitting targets and which are woefully behind in a number of key areas.

The findings of the report, which comes in the wake of an announcement this month that Ofwat is working with the Environment Agency to conduct an investigation into sewage treatment works, revealed a very mixed picture with water and wastewater companies excelling in some areas, and lagging behind in others.

When it came to pollution incidents Severn Trent Water, Northumbrian Water and United Utilities, were deemed ‘top performers’, or the top 25 per cent of companies that achieve their target, on pollution incidents, while South West Water and Wessex Water, Thames Water and Southern Water were classified as being ‘poorer than target’ in this area.

Sitting in between at ‘at or better than target’ for pollution incidents were the following companies: Dŵr Cymru, Hafren Dyfrdwy and Yorkshire Water.

When it came to sewer flooding Anglian Water, South West Water and Wessex Water took the ‘top performer spots’. At the other end of the spectrum Severn Trent Water, Dŵr Cymru, Hafren Dyfrdwy, Northumbrian Water, United Utilities and Yorkshire Water, Southern Water and Thames Water were deemed ‘poorer than target’.

Commenting on the report's findings Ofwat interim chief executive David Black said:

"Over the past year we have seen some areas of progress in water company performance, most noticeably on tackling leakage and maintaining a reliable supply of services through the pandemic. But, on environmental measures some companies are still falling short and they are not doing enough to confront the grim consequences of internal sewer flooding.

"Companies lagging behind need to catch up with the best performers and they need to do so quickly."

Taking all areas into consideration including customer satisfaction, leakage rates, treatment works compliance and more, Severn Trent, Anglian Water, and Portsmouth Water were named as the overall sector leads.

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