THE REGION’S water company South West Water (SWW) has been fined £2.1million for prior pollution incidents in Devon and Cornwall.

The offences occurred between July 2016 and August 2020 at Lostwithiel, Kilmington, Crediton and Torpoint sewage treatment works and the Watergate Bay sewage pumping station.


CEO Dr Laurence Couldrick said: “We want this fine to be seen as the final signal to all potential polluters that detrimental impacts on our region’s rivers will not be tolerated.

“We have been pushing for this type of fine to be used to fund a Water Restoration Fund via the Plan for Water, but we need to see this progress.

“More and more people are recognizing how important the health of our rivers is and are  joining the call for better long-term protection – our water companies and government must back-up the hard work of individuals and charities like ours working to protect and restore freshwater environments.”

Clarissa Newell, Environment Agency (EA) environment manager for Devon and Cornwall commented that sewage alert alarms are no good if no action is taken and regarding making polluters pay, the EA will “continue to do everything in its power to ensure that they do”.

Read the Government’s press release at:


In a 27 April Guardian article, Susan Davy, CEO of Pennon Group, which owns South West Water, commented “it is right that we have been held to account by the EA”.

She added: “I also want to be clear that this didn’t happen because we don’t care; we do.

“Everyone who works for South West Water is extremely passionate about our environment and we need to do more to prove this to our customers and visitors to our region.

“We have a plan, it is working and we won’t stop until everyone can feel proud.”

(Image shows Watergate Bay in Cornwall).