Have you been paying too much for your water?
Severn Trent and five other water companies accused of underreporting sewage spillages and discharges
A consumer legal claim has been filed against one of six UK water companies who are accused of underreporting sewage pollution and overcharging customers as a result.
The claim against Severn Trent Water is the first of six claims against water companies who are all accused of breaching environmental laws by underreporting the number of sewage spills and discharges into UK waterways.
Have you been overcharged for your water bill?
Severn Trent Water customers may be entitled to compensation if they paid for a water bill from April 2017.
Claims against Anglian Water, Northumbrian Water, Thames Water, United Utilities and Yorkshire Water will follow in coming months. Anyone who has paid for a water bill to one or more of these five water companies from April 2020 could be entitled to compensation if the cases are won.
Severn Trent Water accused of underreporting sewage pollution
Severn Trent Water is accused of not complying with environmental laws and regulators’ reporting responsibilities. This could leave eight million Severn Trent Waters customers owed a total of £330 million, if the case is won.
It is accused of breaking competition law by misleading the Environment Agency and water company regulator Ofwat about the number of untreated sewage spills and discharges they made into rivers, lakes, the sea and other waterways. Water companies are legally required to report these incidents.
The claim against Severn Trent Water
Professor Carolyn Roberts, an environmental and water consultant who is leading the claim on behalf of 20 million customers, accuses the six water companies of abusing their dominant market position by underreporting the number of times they cause pollution incidents and overcharging customers as a result. She says that the underreporting has led to performance penalties and fines, which would have reduced customers’ bills, not being issued.
Professor Roberts has instructed the law firm Leigh Day to represent her claim against the six water companies. People affected by this claim will not pay any fees or costs. If the case is won, it is expected compensation would be paid by the water company and its shareholders, not by increasing customers’ bills.
How to claim compensation
A decision first needs to be made by the specialist competition court about whether the claim will proceed. Sign up to Consumer Voice to stay updated as the claim progresses if you think you’ve been affected.
We will keep you updated on the latest developments in the Amazon claim and other group consumer claims.
What’s happening with this claim?
Professor Roberts filed the claim against Severn Trent Water with the Competition Appeal Tribunal in August 2023 to commence collective proceedings. A date for when the claim will be reviewed by the Tribunal has not yet been set. The claims against Anglian Water, Northumbrian Water, Thames Water, United Utilities and Yorkshire Water will be filed over coming months.
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