CCW responds to launch of investigation into sewage discharges

CCW has today responded to the launch of an investigation by regulators into claims of illegal discharges of sewage into rivers, streams and other water courses.

Ofwat and the EA will lead the investigation after new checks led to water companies admitting that they could be releasing sewage discharges which were not permitted under their legal permits.

The investigation will cover more than 2,000 sewage treatment works. Any company found to be in breach of its permits could face enforcement action. This could result in fines and prosecutions.

Fines can be up to 10 per cent of annual turnover for civil cases or unlimited if it leads to criminal proceedings

Emma Clancy, Chief Executive of CCW, said:

“It’s impossible to overstate the seriousness of this investigation. Customers pay their money to wastewater companies in good faith, expecting them to be able to be trusted to provide high quality services while protecting the environment.”

“Should this investigation lead to prosecutions we would want to see those fines used locally to repair the environmental harm that has been caused.”

Read Ofwat and the Environment Agency’s joint announcement

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