MPs question water company bosses over pollution incidents

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The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee has raised serious concerns with the Chief Executive Officers of United Utilities and South West Water (SWW) regarding recent pollution incidents.

The committee will question the CEOs in an evidence session on 5th June, ahead of Ofwat’s decision on water companies’ spending plans and proposed price rises on 12 June.

Sir Robert Goodwill, Chair of the EFRA Committee, wrote to South West Water (SWW) expressing concern over a cryptosporidium outbreak in Brixham, Devon.

Following an advisory for 17,000 households to boil their drinking water, the UK Health Security Agency confirmed 57 cases of cryptosporidiosis, with more cases expected.

Sir Robert’s letter criticised SWW for failing to provide safe water and for a slow response to the outbreak.

The committee has requested a written account from the SWW CEO by 31st May.

In a separate letter, the Committee Chair addressed Louise Beardmore, Chief Executive Officer of United Utilities, regarding the release of over ten million litres of untreated sewage into Lake Windermere in February.

The letter noted that a telecommunications fault triggered the incident but stressed the need to investigate United Utilities’ response and communication with the Environment Agency.

The Committee aims to discuss measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Energy Live News has contacted South West Water and United Utilities for comment.

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