South West Water Charged with 30 Counts of Illegal Discharges in Devon and Cornwall

South West Water charged with 30 counts of illegal water discharges in Devon and Cornwall, highlighting concerns about water companies' environmental practices. Outcome could have significant implications for industry regulation.

author-image
Nitish Verma
Updated On
New Update
South West Water Charged with 30 Counts of Illegal Discharges in Devon and Cornwall

South West Water Charged with 30 Counts of Illegal Discharges in Devon and Cornwall

South West Water, an Exeter-based water company, has been charged with 30 counts of illegal water discharges and environmental permit breaches in Devon and Cornwall between 2015 and 2021, according to the Environment Agency. The charges relate to water treatment works, sewage pumping stations, and sewer networks at various locations in the two counties.

The Environment Agency claims that South West Water is responsible for hundreds of illegal discharges at eight different sites and has presented over 200,000 pages of evidence to the Plymouth court. The case has been adjourned until July for pleas to be entered.

Why this matters: The charges against South West Water highlight growing concerns about the environmental practices of water companies and their impact on local waterways and ecosystems. The outcome of this case could have significant implications for how water companies are regulated and held accountable for illegal discharges and permit breaches.

A spokesperson for South West Water declined to comment on the active proceedings. The company serves around 1.7 million customers in Devon, Cornwall, and parts of Dorset and Somerset.

The Environment Agency's prosecution of South West Water is one of the largest cases it has ever brought against a water company. "Water companies need to abide by the rules and regulations put in place to protect the environment," said an Environment Agency official. "When they fail to do so, we will take action to hold them accountable."

Key Takeaways

  • South West Water charged with 30 counts of illegal water discharges in Devon/Cornwall
  • Environment Agency claims hundreds of illegal discharges at 8 sites, over 200,000 pages of evidence
  • Case highlights concerns about water companies' environmental practices and impact on waterways
  • Outcome could have significant implications for how water companies are regulated and held accountable
  • Environment Agency's prosecution is one of the largest cases it has brought against a water company