Latest update from the joint Environment Agency Ofwat investigation will be concerning for the whole industry

The Environment Agency’s national investigation into potential breaches of permit conditions at wastewater treatment works by water and sewerage companies.

On 18 November 2021, the Environment Agency and Ofwat announced separate major investigations into potential widespread non-compliance by water and sewerage companies at wastewater treatment works (WWTW).

The Environment Agency is now investigating more than 2,200 WWTW that discharge into English waters. This relates to all water and sewage companies.

The Environment Agency’s initial assessment indicates that there may have been widespread and serious non-compliance with the relevant regulations by all water and sewerage companies.

When the Environment Agency completes their investigation, they will consider all the options available under their enforcement and sanctions policy. As with all criminal investigations, they need to obtain and secure evidence to make sure they can prove their case beyond reasonable doubt if they begin court proceedings. This takes time and care.

Published information about the investigation will be limited to avoid prejudicing the investigation or any potential legal proceedings.

Thames Water boss resigns

The chief executive of Thames Water has stepped down after two years in the role, weeks after giving up her bonus over sewage spills.

Thames Water said Sarah Bentley would leave with immediate effect, but would continue to support the firm until her replacement was found.

Covered by the BBC

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