A legal claim has been issued against six UK water companies who are facing legal collective actions for allegedly abusing their dominant market position by underreporting the number of times they cause pollution incidents and overcharging customers as a result.

The case is covered in the Guardian which says the claim on behalf of 20 million householders in England and Wales could, if successful, top £800m in compensation.

A spokesperson for Water UK, the industry body, said: “This highly speculative claim is entirely without merit. The regulator has confirmed that over 99% of sewage works comply with their legal requirements. If companies fail to deliver on their commitments, then customer bills are already adjusted accordingly.”

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