Southern Water have been fined £126 million of Ofwat, the Water Regulator, following both failures in their treatment of sewage treatment sites and also in producing misleading statistics relating to them.
In a statement Ofwat said:
“In the course of a large-scale investigation into the water company, Ofwat found that Southern Water failed to operate a number of wastewater treatments works properly, including by not making the necessary investment which led to equipment failures and spills of wastewater into the environment.
Ofwat also found that Southern Water manipulated its wastewater sampling process which resulted in it misreporting information about the performance of a number of sewage treatment sites. This meant the company avoided penalties under Ofwat’s incentive regime.
The £126m package will see Southern Water pay a rebate of £123m to customers through their bills and pay a fine of £3m. The rebate includes £91m in penalties Southern Water had avoided and a further £32m of payments as recognition of their serious failures.”
Ian McAulay, the Chief Executive of Southern Water, said in a statement:
“Since June 2017, our wastewater treatment compliance has been under investigation by Ofwat due to breaches of our licence conditions and statutory obligations during the period from 2010 to 2017.
We have fully supported these investigations and completed our own internal review, which has highlighted failures of people, processes and systems during that time.
We are profoundly sorry for these failures and have been working very hard to understand past failings and implement the changes required to ensure we better deliver for our customers and meet the standards they deserve.”