South West Water

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South West Water
IndustryWater industry
HeadquartersExeter, Devon
Area served
South West England
Key people
  • Sir John Parker (Chairman)
  • Chris Loughlin (CEO)
  • Dr Stephen Bird (MD)
Production output
  • 0.439 Gl/day (drinking)
  • 0.439 Gl/day (recycled)
  • Increase £0.500 billion (2012-13)
  •     £0.474 billion (2011-13)
Number of employees
ParentPennon Group

South West Water provides drinking water and waste water services throughout Cornwall and Devon and in small areas of Dorset and Somerset.[1] South West Water was created in 1989 with the privatisation of the water industry.[1] It was originally formed by the Water Act 1973 as one of ten regional water authorities formed by a merger of various statutory and local authority water undertakings. South West Water is part of the Pennon Group.[2]


South West Water was formed in 1989 when the water industry in the United Kingdom was privatised. It is responsible for the supply of the region's drinking water, the treatment and disposal of sewage, and the protection of inland and bathing waters. It is closely regulated by Ofwat, the Water Services Regulation Authority, being required to conform to stringent United Kingdom and European Union standards.[1] It is part of the Pennon Group.

The following public utilities were taken over by the South West Water Authority in 1973:[3]

  • Cornwall River Authority
  • Devon River Authority
  • Avon and Dorset River Authority†
  • Plymouth County Borough Corporation
  • East Cornwall Water Board
  • East Devon Water Board
  • North and Mid Cornwall Water Board
  • North Devon Water Board
  • South Cornwall Water Board
  • South West Devon Water Board
  • West Cornwall Water Board

† Only the area of the authority which drained into the River Lim.

It was the subject of an episode of the fly-on-the-wall documentary Back to the Floor in 1997.[4]


The main source of the water supplied by South West Water is the twenty reservoirs they own, with 90% of the water coming from reservoirs and rivers. The company makes great efforts to keep the water clean while allowing access to the public for sport and recreation.[5] Upper Tamar Lake has facilities for angling and watersports, and is used by a number of local clubs including fishing and model yachting clubs.[6] The South West Lakes Trust is a charitable organisation that manages fifty inland water sites across Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset, attracting around two million visitors annually.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "About us". South West Water. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Pennon Group Plc". South West Water. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  3. ^ The South West Water Authority Constitution Order 1973 (1973 No. 1307)
  4. ^ "South West Water (1997) | BFI". Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Our reservoirs". South West Water. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Enjoy the lakes". South West Water. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  7. ^ "South West Lakes Trust". South West Lakes Trust. Retrieved 15 August 2016.

External links[edit]