‘Watchdog Claims South West Water Was “Not Honest”


South West Water (SWW) is under fire once again, amid accusations the supplier has not been honest with the government about its preparations for drought after some parts of the country almost completely ran out of water in the summer of 2022.

The water supplier has faced a slew of bad press in recent months, with one MP branding it “the worst water company in the country” following a £12m fine for poor performance.

This time, the Pennon Group-owned company is under the spotlight after the Environment Agency (EA) told regulator Ofwat that SWW was “not honest” with regulators about the risk a drought posed to the company’s water supplies.

This meant SWW was under-prepared for the heatwave, posing a risk to both the public and the environment with water levels critically low.

During that particularly hot summer, residents in Devon and Cornwall were forced to endure months of hosepipe bans with levels in local reservoirs running dangerously low. Of the reservoirs run by SWW, three ran to record lows.

In documents obtained by Greenpeace’s investigations website, UnEarthed, via a freedom of information act, the EA gave a damning assessment of SWW’s performance during this period, while suggesting the supplier was also dishonest, as well as having “a lack of understanding of their own supply system”.

In an email to Ofwat, the EA said: “SWW were not honest, open and transparent with regulators about their drought projections and potential risks to security of supply.”

The email went on to say: “SWW acted too late” in response to the drought, which “presented a genuine risk of loss of supply in west Cornwall”.

Response From SWW

Despite receiving criticism from multiple angles, SWW came out fighting in their response, claiming the notion they were complacent and underprepared was wide of the mark.

A SWW spokesperson said: “We strongly reject any suggestion that we were not adequately prepared for the risk of drought or that we did not operate in good faith with the regulators.

“Despite facing a once-in-a-generation drought in the south-west, no customer went without water supply and we successfully maintained a robust supply of water to over 3.5 million customers and ten million visitors to the region.”

Comparing Providers

If you’re an SWW customer then you might be concerned about this news. After all, summers aren’t about to get any cooler any time soon, so the risk of drought may rear its head again in a few months’ time.

The service you can expect to receive from your supplier, as well as the amount you pay for your bills, is clearly important to every business owner.

If the company you choose to supply your water isn’t performing or being dishonest about the way they’re preparing for droughts, you’re well within your rights to seek out a new deal.

This is why it often pays to switch business utilities. If you own your own company then bringing down the cost of your outgoings and having a reliable supplier who’s adequately prepared for water shortages is crucial.

So if you’re on the lookout for a water supplier that meets your business’ 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.

We partner with many of the country’s reputable and trusted water suppliers to put you in touch with the best options based on your business’ needs and preferences. So whether you’re looking for the cheapest deal or a company with impressive past performance, we can help you connect with the one that offers what you’re after.

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

So to find a reliable company that will properly prepare for the inevitable hot weather this summer, speak to us today and we’ll help put you in touch with some of the country’s most trustworthy suppliers.

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