Water regulator announces investigation into South West company

The water industry regulator has launched an investigation into South West Water.

Ofwat said it is carrying out an enforcement investigation into South West Water, relating to the accuracy of information reported by the company for its performance on leakage and consumption.

Ofwat sets performance targets for companies on leakage. Companies are assessed against these targets annually and can be penalised or rewarded, depending on their performance.

In November 2022, Ofwat deferred a decision on the progress South West Water has made towards its leakage performance commitment, as it sought to understand how the company calculated its reported performance.

Ofwat has said it will not provide further information on the investigation until it reaches a conclusion.

David Black, Ofwat chief executive, said: “We are committed to holding companies to account for performance and for sharing timely, accurate, and complete data with us and their customers. We want to ensure that is the case here. A thorough investigation will now be carried out and we will provide updates in due course on our findings and whether there is any further action Ofwat needs to take.”

The firm provides drinking water and waste water services throughout Cornwall and Devon and in small areas of Dorset and Somerset. It also provide water-only services in Bournemouth and Bristol.

The company is part of the wider Pennon Group.

A statement from Pennon said: “Ofwat have this morning announced an investigation into South West Water’s 2021/22 operational performance data relating to leakage and per capita consumption.

 “This operational performance data was reported in South West Water’s Annual Performance Report 2021/22. This report is subject to rigorous assurance processes which include independent checks and balances carried out by external technical auditor.

We will work openly and constructively with Ofwat to comply with the formal notice issued to South West Water as part of this investigation.”



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