Anglian Water has been ranked England's worst-performing water company for self-reporting of all pollution incidents following a "disappointing" assessment.

The Environment Agency revealed in its annual report on the environmental performance of England's nine water and sewerage companies today (July 12) that Anglian Water has been rated two stars.

The rating takes into account performance on environmental commitments such as pollution incidents and treatment work compliance.

Anglian Water has been rated two stars out of a possible four for a consecutive year, as it was in 2021, with improvement required.

Reasons for rating

The report highlighted three main reasons Anglian Water remained a two-star company: 

  • Thirty-three sewerage pollution incidents per 10,000 km.  
  • Anglian Water caused 255 incidents in 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.
  • Anglian Water was the worst-performing water company for self-reporting of all pollution incidents.   

'We are disappointed'

Graham Verrier, area director for the Environment Agency in East Anglia, said: "We are disappointed that Anglian Water is a two-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." 

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Two of the nine prosecutions include a £2.65 million fine after it allowed interested sewage to overflow into the North Sea and a £300,000 fine after pollution from its water pumping station killed 5,000 fish.

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Water Minister Rebecca Pow said: "Today's [July 12] report shows there is significant work to do to drive the improvements in our rivers and seas that we need to see.  

"The government's Plan for Water is focused on more investment, tougher enforcement and tighter regulation.

"I am personally committed to driving that forward and demanding more from each and every water company.  

"We have also put new regulatory powers in place to allow the Environment Agency to impose sanctions on water companies without always going through the courts.

"This will be an important tool in its armoury to hold companies to account."