Anglian Water knows it 'must do better' as company rated as in need of improvement

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In the 14 months leading up to the report, Anglian Water was forced to pay fines of over £5.5m.

Anglian Water has admitted that it must do better in some critical areas of its performance after being criticised by the Environment Agency.

The agency said that it was disappointed with Anglian Water after handing down a two out of four rating to the water company.

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Each of the nine water and sewage companies is rated on its performance each year by the Environment Agency in a performance assessment report.

Anglian Water has been rated as in need of improvement.Anglian Water has been rated as in need of improvement.
Anglian Water has been rated as in need of improvement.

These ratings work on a system where four stars is the best possible and one star is the worst.

The latest report, which covers 2022, sees Anglian Water remain with two out of four stars, which means requires improvement. The company received the same rating in 2021.

In the last 14 months leading up to the report, Anglian Water was prosecuted nine times and were forced to pay fines totalling over five million pounds (£5,537,985).

The report found:

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- Anglian Water caused 255 incidents during 2022. This included 11 serious incidents.

- More than half of all of the serious pollution incidents nationally were from Anglian Water and Thames Water assets.

- Anglia Water had 33 sewerage pollution incidents per 10,000 km.

- Anglian Water were the worst performing water company for self-reporting of all pollution incidents.

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Graham Verrier, Area Director for the Environment Agency in East Anglia said: “We are disappointed that Anglian Water is a 2-star company for the second year in a row.

“Where there is evidence of non-compliance we will not hesitate to pursue the water company and take appropriate action – as is evidenced by the conclusion of nine prosecutions against Anglian Water in the last 14 months.”

In response, Anglian Water has said that it is working on bringing new technology that will put their response onto a more proactive and preventative footing but that this will take time to bear fruit and that none of the serious pollutions last year caused the death of any fish.

The company also pointed out that 89 percent of its region is rural meaning it is “incredibly hard” to have boots on the ground everywhere;” as well as the fact that most of its assets are pumped and pressurised- rather than relying on gravity- which is a “broadly unique issue” and accounts for 50 percent of serious events.

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An Anglian Water spokesperson said:"We take our responsibility to protect, restore and improve our region’s environment incredibly seriously and fully accept that our performance must improve.’

‘Over the last two years, we have drastically changed how we operate to address more effectively the unique and complex challenges facing our region. This is detailed in our Pollution Incident Reduction Plan.

"We know that we must do better on some critical measures of environmental performance, and we remain resolutely focussed on continuing with this strategy at pace.’

The full report produced by the Environment Agency can be found on the government website.