A new report from the Environment Agency (EA), looking into what steps water companies in the UK are taking to improve water quality, has revealed that United Utilities and Wessex Water have come top in this regard.

Companies have continued to improve reporting of pollution, but some still need to make significant improvements where this is concerned in order to drive down pollution levels. It was found that all companies hit the target to finish work on building and upgrading infrastructure to improve water resources and quality, and river biodiversity.

And eight out of nine of the companies were awarded full marks for protecting their water supply security, while the number of serious incidents of pollution continued to fall – although a rise in the total number of incidents and in the most damaging cases was seen, climbing to nine from the four seen last year. 2016 saw numerous million pound fines given out to water companies for incidents of this kind.

“Water companies work hard to protect the environment. We have set more stringent targets and we are glad to see overall improvements but want to see more effort to avoid pollution incidents.

“As a fair and effective regulator we are committed to publishing results, highlighting best practice but also taking action to address any poor practice,” executive director of operations with the EA Dr Toby Willison said.

Call the EA incident hotline to report pollution to water or land, blocked watercourses, damage or danger to the natural environment – but report waste crime (like dumping large amounts of waste illegally) to Crimestoppers.

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