The environment we care for

Our work for the environment is about halting the decline of nature and leaving places better than we found them.

The mix of different landscapes in the South West makes it a particularly special place to look after. We have amazing partners who work with us to keep it thriving, like the Wildlife Trusts, West Country Rivers Trust, South West Lakes Trust, the Environment Agency, Natural England and many more.

Here’s a glimpse into the places we help manage.

of coastline
of rivers
National Parks

Taking responsibility

Following a 2-star environmental rating from the EA, and ranking second-worst performing wastewater company in the UK for pollutions, we can only apologise to our customers for this performance, and promise to do better from now on.

Operating water and wastewater networks comes hand-in-hand with working with, and for, the environment. Some of our activities that impact the environment are:

water abstraction
Our impact on the environment


This is when we take water out of the environment for treating into drinking water. We're heavily monitored on this by the Environment Agency who outline exactly how much we can take and when. This is particularly tricky during drought conditions when demand remains the same but the amount of available water is low.

Our impact on the environment


Both water and wastewater treatment uses a lot of energy. Many of our works are fitted with solar panels or use bio-fuel generated onsite to help supplement their energy needs.
Mayflower pipes
Our impact on the environment


Pumping stations help water and wastewater travel uphill (and the South West has many hills!). This also takes a huge amount of energy. We’ve done a lot of work to make our pumps as efficient as possible.

Picture of a storm tank
Our impact on the environment


When storm tanks overflow, wastewater spills directly into watercourses. This prevents it from backing up into your homes and gardens, but sadly has negative impacts on the health of those watercourses. We’re investing £330 million between now and 2025 to reduce the number of times these spills happen.
More about overflows
Our impact on the environment


When roads, fields or moors need digging up for us to access pipes and valves that need fixing, we make sure to return those areas to how we found them. We’ve also committed in improving biodiversity at those sites.

Our biodiversity strategy

Our Environmental Projects

We not only want to meet the environmental standards put on our business, but surpass them. We know we have a long way to go, but we’re confident that we will get there, and quickly, so that the places you love are kept safe and beautiful.

Environmental projects

Bathing water quality

Our WaterFit Live map keeps you informed of the bathing water quality at your local beach. Why not take a look before you next go for a dip?

Bathing water quality image

Spotted a leak in your area?

Check if the problem has already been reported, and if not let us know and we'll take a look

Report a problem

Are you in a hosepipe ban area?

Our water resources across the region remain under pressure and it’s our job to protect them. That’s why we've introduced a temporary use ban for customers across Cornwall and parts of Devon.

Find out if you're affected