Solent suffers while Southern Water profits

The sorry saga of untreated sewage dumped in the Solent came to a head this week in the Canterbury Crown Court.  Southern Water had pleaded guilty to 71 violations over 6 years – including 8,400 illegal discharges – with the cover ups sanctioned at a senior level.

Some will claim that this is an example of the regulator doing its job – and others will point out that they were too easily fooled by a company whose top priority was to maximise shareholder profits.

Either way the saga stinks – and now, in 2021, we can finally look forward to the sentencing later this week for crimes committed before 2015.   Will the punishment be enough to stop further discharges?

And the Contaminated Crustacean Award goes to . .

2 thoughts on “Solent suffers while Southern Water profits

  1. We now know that Southern Water has been fined £90m for these violations. That may sound impressive and it has caught media attention. But how much has it cost the Environment Agency to investigate and pursue the case? How much has it cost the fishing industry? We will never fathom the ecological damage of this small example of Planet Abuse. And how will the £90m be used? To invest in sharper environmental monitoring? Or will the regulator carry on trusting these private operators of public services to be honest? Honestly?

  2. Another disaster that can be traced back to the Tories’ 1980s sell-off of vital public services that used to be performed by local authorities. Under one of Southern’s early owners, the bulk of in-house scientific laboratory services and assets were shut down, dismantled and sold off.

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