WE are South West Water (SWW) part of the Pennon Group Plc and provide water and sewerage services to customers in Devon, Cornwall and small parts of Dorset and Somerset.
Here are some useful facts about our company:
- We provide water services to around 97% of people in the region (the remaining 3% have private supplies), but sewerage services to only around 88%. The remaining 12% - usually in rural areas - have private arrangements for sewage disposal including septic tanks.
- We serve a region of nearly 4,300 square miles (11,137 square kilometres) in size.
- Our operating area takes in the whole of Devon and Cornwall and small parts of Dorset and Somerset as well.
- There are 1.6 million residents in our operating area.
- Each day we supply 363 mega litres (80 million gallons) of water to the region.
- We have 9,330 miles (15,015 kilometres) of water mains - enough to reach to Australia!
- Our other underground network of pipes are public sewers - 9,200 miles (14,800 kilometres) of them.
- Around 250 mega litres (55 million gallons) of domestic waste water is returned safely to the water environment each day from 623 waste water treatment works.
- Each of us uses an average of 135 litres (30 gallons) of water each day.
- Around 90% of our water comes from reservoirs and rivers and just 10% from boreholes and aquifers (pockets of water in the porous rocks) many hundreds of feet beneath the ground.
- Our water supply strategy is based on three main reservoirs. Wimbleball in the east, Roadford in the middle of the region and Colliford in the west.
- Our water storage capacity has quadrupled since the mid-seventies following the construction of Roadford, Colliford and Wimbleball reservoirs.
- Our "Leak Seekers" programme, to cut leaks from company water supply pipes, is now saving enough water to supply the essential daily domestic needs of the whole of Cornwall.
- Water is treated at approximately 39 water treatment works around the region before it is delivered safely to your tap.
- Because of the topography of the region, we need 203 pumping stations to keep the water flowing sweetly to your tap. This is a costly process.
- Water quality is crucial. We carry out hundreds of water analyses every day - 115,000 each year.
- 99.97% of samples of South West drinking water comply with the tough UK water regulations policed by the Drinking Water Inspectorate.
- Our £1.5 billion 'Clean Sweep' coastal sewage treatment programme enables the region to boast some of Europe's finest bathing waters and beaches.
- The South West coastline is over 620 miles (1,000 kilometres) long.
- Around 200 crude sewage outfalls have been closed since 'Clean Sweep' began.
- We have the highest ratio of coastline to land of all the water and sewerage companies in England and Wales.
- South West Water was one of the first water companies to voluntarily cease disconnection of domestic customers for non-payment of bills.
- As a utility service provider, South West Water is regulated by bodies including the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat), the Environment Agency (EA), the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) and the department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).