Environmental Information Regulation Requests South West Water Limited Regulatory Peninsula House Rydon Lane Exeter Devon EX2 7HS
SWW is required to respond in writing to requests for environmental information within 20 working days. In some cases, an extension up to 40 working days might be required to respond to high volume or complex requests for example. If an extension is required SWW will notify you of this.
To ensure we are able to best assist you with your request, we would advise that if possible you:
make your request using the contact details above,
identify the information you want as clearly as you can
include your name, address and or email for response.
be as specific as you can about the information you want, and what period of time you are interested in
if you send your request in writing maintain a copy for yourself
requests can be made anonymously via sites such as What Do They Know.
Fees charged for environmental information
In some instances a request can take us more than 18 hours to look for, retrieve and collate the information. In those circumstances we may at our discretion ask for a reasonable charge for the environmental information you have requested.
Where we consider a charge is appropriate, we will give you the option to pay before we go ahead and collect the information. We will not be able to process your request until payment has been received.
If you do not wish to proceed we will try to help you find information that could be provided without incurring charges. No fees will be charged for our existing publications or for information on this website, on the public register, or can be examined at a SWW office
Based on guidance issued by the Information Commissioner, the following fees will be used to cover our costs for responding to requests for environmental information:
staff time spent locating, retrieving and extracting the information requested will be charged at £25 per hour
printing and copying information requested will be charged at 10p per page. Postage fees will also be charged at cost.
We reserve the right to waive the fee.
What happens if we cannot meet the request for information? Wherever possible, SWW will refer you to the relevant public authority where the requested information is held, or provide advice regarding alternative sources of the requested information.
However, SWW may not be able to meet your request for environmental information for a number of reasons. This may include but is not limited to the following:
the information is not held by SWW
the request is not subject to the provisions of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
the public interest case to not disclose the information outweighs the public interest case to disclose the information
work in progress that has not yet been completed
Sometimes the interest of the general public is better served by environmental information not being made available. Examples include the location of rare wildlife species (to ensure ongoing protection), or situations where a legal process is underway.
If SWW cannot provide information requested then an explanation will be provided in a refusal notice.
Unreasonable requests We're entitled to refuse requests on a number of grounds called ‘exceptions’ which are contained within the Environmental Information Regulations including those which we believe are "manifestly unreasonable" based on the Information Commissioner's guidance. For example we are unable to provide a mapped database of SWW’s entire asset network, which in addition to other concerns, has implications for the security of SWW’s network. However, you are able to view that map at our offices during normal working hours.
Managing environmental information
We have a finite capacity for the quantity of information that we can store and manage. Any important documents that we hold have a 'retention period' - they have to be kept for a certain amount of time before we dispose of them.
If any environmental information is unavailable because it has passed its 'use by date' and has been routinely disposed of, we will explain this.
It is a criminal offence for anyone to alter, block, deface, erase, destroy or conceal any record in order to try and avoid having to disclose it.
How to complain about the way we handled your request
If you made a request but you do not feel that we have dealt with it in accordance with the EIR, you have the right to register a complaint as follows:
Step 1: You may request an internal review of the decision taken. The review will be undertaken by a senior team member who will examine your request, the information involved and our original response. Internal review requests should be submitted in writing within 40 working days of receiving the response to your request and should set out how you believe we have not fulfilled the requirements of the EIR.