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Tuesday, 02 August 2016 11:17

Environmental performance of England's nine water companies for 2015 published

The Environment Agency's report on last year's environmental performance of water companies has been published. Severn Trent Water, United Utilities and Wessex Water emerge as good industry leading performers, whereas South West Water is shown to be a poor performing company. At the end of each year the EA look back and report on the environmental performance of the 9 water and sewerage companies operating wholly or mainly in England.

water env performace 2015aThe report has lots of data for 2015 and rates environmental performance on a number of measures such as number of pollution incidents caused and self reporting - whether they report these sewage leaks quickly so Agency officers can reduce the impact on rivers and habitats. There is also a section on spending to reduce flood risk.

Results for each water company are set out in comparison to previous years to see if they are improving and in comparison to the other companies.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: "Water companies have made good environmental progress in 2015. They have reduced the amount of pollution incidents by 26% compared with the previous year and invested significantly in projects to reduce the risk of flooding.

"They have also achieved record rates of self-reporting of pollution incidents, which shows they are identifying pollution problems early and responding quicker to minimise damage to the environment. We will continue to work closely with water companies and have challenged them to do even better by setting tough targets to reduce pollution incidents further by 2020.

water env perfom 2015b"In relation to the 'significantly below target' performance in the 2015 table: While there are some encouraging trends in these statistics on environmental performance of water and sewage companies, we recognise that there are poorer performing companies and they need to do more to protect the environment.

"We're working very closely with these companies that need to make improvements. We're addressing issues at Director level and on the ground - being rated 'poor performance' leads to more visits, scrutiny of incidents we attend and increases the number of audits we carry out."

This is the first year since the EPA was introduced in 2011 that 3 companies have achieved 'industry leading' status, plus 5 other companies are rated above average.

The Environment Agency conclude in their report: The water companies provide an essential service to society. The activities water companies undertake through their day-to-day responsibilities of providing clean drinking water and treating waste water have the potential to have a significant adverse impact on the environment. The Environment Agency issues and enforces permits and licences which aim to limit the impact of these activities.

Water companies have made welcome improvements and thankfully, the industry no longer has the level of adverse impact on the environment that it had in the past. It recognises there is further work to do to meet the requirements of legislation and public expectation.

We will be working with all companies throughout the year and continuing to encourage good performance and to satisfy ourselves that their plans to improve performance are working sufficiently quickly and that environmental protection remains a high priority for them.

LINK
Results for each water company are set out in comparison to previous years to see if they are improving and in comparison to the other companies – see table below and weblink to the report.
www.gov.uk/government/publications/water-and-sewerage-companies-in-england-environmental-performance-report

water ind perform table