Millions Of Water Companies May Be Entitled To Payout


Millions of water and sewerage bill payers may be entitled to payouts if their water company is found to have lied to regulators over their waste disposal.

Six water firms – Anglian Water, Northumbrian Water, Severn Trent Water, Thames Water, United Utilities and Yorkshire Water – may find themselves taken to court after being accused of misleading regulators.

The claims are being put forward by Professor Carolyn Roberts who’s an environmental and water consultant represented by Leigh Day Solicitors. If successful, the company says each applicant may be entitled to an average of £40.

With up to 20 million people potentially eligible, this could put a sizable dent in the country’s leading water companies’ already struggling finances.

There has been an increased focus on the sewage being pumped into the country’s waterways in recent years. But despite water companies promising less waste would be released, it appears targets have not been met.

Surfers Against Sewage, a charity that campaigns to highlight the damage these practices are doing to our rivers and seas, said in its annual report that record numbers of sewage releases took place last year.

Amidst all this, Professor Roberts said that she’d been watching on “with horror” amid the rising number of stories of raw sewage being dumped into rivers and seas.

“It appears that because of the serial and serious under-reporting at the heart of these claims, water companies have been avoiding being penalised by [the regulator] Ofwat,” she said. “I believe this has resulted in consumers being unfairly overcharged for sewage services.”


Despite the law firm’s seemingly confident stance, Water UK doesn’t seem to be taking the claim too seriously at this stage. Speaking on behalf of the water companies it represents, the trade organisation said the claim was “highly speculative”, before adding:

“The regulator has confirmed that over 99 per cent of sewage works comply with their legal requirements. If companies fail to deliver on their commitments, then customer bills are already adjusted accordingly.

“Our regulators, the Environment Agency and Ofwat, set strict targets and performance measures that deliver for our customers and the environment.”

Likewise, Severn Trent, one of the companies in the law firm’s crosshairs, also called the claim “highly speculative with no merit”.

A spokesperson for the water company said: “Should pollution ever occur, they are always reported to the Environment Agency. Any claim to the contrary is wholly and completely wrong,” the spokesperson for the Midlands-based company confirmed.

“Our regulators, the Environment Agency and Ofwat, set strict targets and performance measures that deliver for our customers and the environment.”

Leigh Day estimates customers may have to wait several years for the claim to be concluded.

Comparing Providers

If you’re one of the customers who may be eligible for a payout then you might be excited by the news. However, it once again also shines a light on the potentially poor service being offered by some of the country’s water companies.

The service you can expect to receive from your supplier, as well as the amount you pay for your bills, is obviously important to all business owners. If the company you choose to give your hard-earned cash to isn’t performing then perhaps it’s time for a change.

This is why it sometimes pays to switch business utilities, especially as a business owner. If you own your own company then bringing down the cost of your outgoings is one of your primary concerns, and so is having a reliable supplier to provide your water.

So if you’re on the lookout for a water supplier that meets your needs and preferences, we’re here to help you in your pursuit. As a water broker, we have access to hundreds of different tariffs with dozens of water suppliers across the UK.

By explaining to us what you’re looking for in your supplier, we can help you find the best deals on the market, saving you time, money and ensuring you get the service you deserve.

So to find a company with the best service, speak to us today and we’ll help put you in touch with some of the country’s most trustworthy suppliers.

Explore Other Articles