the UK water industry explained @

 contact us               

South West Water

Parent Company:         Pennon Plc

Regulated utility:         South West Water Ltd

Ownership:                   Public Limited Company

Although one of the smallest water companies by area and population, South West Water has the longest and perhaps most beautiful coastline at 625 miles long. At the time of privatisation it had almost no coastal sewage treatment. Now after its 1.5 bn Clean Sweep investment programme nearly all sewage from the major coastal towns is treated.

The focus has moved beyong Clean Sweep to securing water supplies in the face of climate change and population growth as well as refurbishment of the early Clean Sweep plants, water mains replacement, smaller sewage treatment works and combined sewage overflows. South West Water is pioneering catchment management as a means to avoid pollutants enetering its water supplies.

Through its vision of Pure Water, Pure Service and Pure Delivery capital investment of 545m is planned over the current regulatory period delivered through South West Water's new H5O capital delivery model. The delivery model is an alliance with contractors Balfour Beatty and Interserve and consultants Pell Frischmann and Hyder. There is an increased focus on capital maintenance (66% of total progtramme compared to 43% in K4) and achieving operational efficiencies.

The massive investment in sewage treatment has resulted in South West Water's customers having the highest bills in the UK despite the South West being relatively poor. This was addressed in the last budget, with an agreement to reduce customers bills in the South West by 50 a year for 2013/2014.

South West Water is unusual in that the regulated water company makes up less than 50% of the group's turnover. Viridor its waste management and renewable energy business has become a leading player in the sector with turnover of 703m and operating profit of 36m. To cope with reducing recyclate prices Viridor is looking to substantially increase its energy from waste (EfW) and associated renewable energy production. Capital expenditure on new Public Private Partnerships and EfW was 323m, over double the previous year.

Financial data for regulated utility South West Water

Data for financial year ended 31 March 2013

Turnover499 m
Operating Profit215 m
Capital Investment116 m

Area served 11 000 km
 -Waste water

1.6 m
1.57 m
-Water supplied a day
-Length water mains
-Water treatment works

364 Ml
15 015 km
-Length of sewers
-Waste water treatment works
-Sludge produced
-Number CSO's

9 098 km
63 000 te's dry


South West Water
Peninsula House
Rydon Lane

Tel: 01392 446 688

Web site:

Non-regulated business

All the non-regulated business in the Pennon group are grouped under Viridor Limited. The main business is:


One of the largest waste and renewable energy businesses in the UK. It has taken full advantage of the growth in green initiatives. Its core competencies are in landfill disposal, recycling and generation of electricity from landfill gas.

In addition Pennon has a small business in property management

Web site:


Home   Support   Map   Facts   Capital