South West Water facing Ofwat probe into leakage data accuracy
The water watchdog is set to probe the accuracy of leakage data from one of England’s biggest providers.
Ofwat will investigate South West Water (SWW) over the accuracy of its information on water consumption and leakages, in the wake of an apology from firms over sewage issues.
Owned by the FTSE 100 listed Pennon Group, SWW said it would work “constructively” and “openly” with the regulator, as it seeks to understand how performance was calculated.
It comes after regulators previously launched probes into six water companies including SWW over fears they could be – potentially illegally – breaking sewage discharge limits.
David Black, Ofwat boss, said: “We are committed to holding companies to account for performance and sharing timely, accurate and complete data with us and their customers.”
He added: “We want to ensure that is the case here.”
If Ofwat was to find Pennon has misreported its data, the firm could face fines of up to 10 per cent of its last year’s turnover – which totalled £792m.
The company was also fined £2.1m in April by the Environment Agency in relation to pollution dating back to 2018 in both Devon and Cornwall.
Five years ago Ofwat warned data on everything from leakages to customer bills contained “basic errors” and was so bad that the public should not take the firms’ words at “face value”.
Waves of protest have made headlines this year as a storm of public outrage gathered over the issue of sewage and water pollution – with a handful of top bosses including SWW chief executive foregoing their bonus packages due to the outcry.