Water Companies

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 1 June 2023.

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Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many water company (a) cautions, (b) prosecutions and (c) minded to enforce notices were brought by the Drinking Water Inspectorate in each of the last five years.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The following tables summarise cautions and prosecutions for the period 2017 to 2021.

a) Number of cautions 2017-2021

Number of cautions

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Total

1

2

0

3

0

b) Number of prosecutions 2017-2021*

Number of prosecutions

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Total

2

2

2

0

0

* Due to the COVID pandemic the Courts were closed and there have been subsequent backlogs. Prosecutions recommenced in 2022 (two companies were prosecuted during the period) and we have ongoing prosecutions in 2023.

There is no ‘minded to enforce notice’ as stated in the question. The Drinking Water Inspectorate issues minded to enforce letters that are communications to companies and they are not notices. They form part of the enforcement process that may or may not result in a legal instrument notice. We have therefore collated the number of legal instruments we have issued to water companies in the period 2017 to 2021.

c) Legal instruments

Legal instruments

Year

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Total

95

71

36

53

69

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