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Anglian Water is a water company that operates in the East of England. Anglian Water is regulated under the United Kingdom Water Industry Act 1991.

Anglian Water Services Ltd
IndustryWater industry
HeadquartersHuntingdon, Cambridgeshire
Area served
East of England
Key people
  • Stephen Billingham (Chair);
  • Peter Simpson, (CEO);
Production output
  • 1.1 Gl/day (drinking)
  • 0.9 Gl/day (recycled)
  • Increase £1244 million (2015)
£452.6 million (2015)
£160.7 million (2015)
Number of employees
4,000 staff

Supply areaEdit

Anglian Water supplies drinking water to parts of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Suffolk.[1]

Anglian Water provides drainage and sewerage to a wider area stretching from the Humber in the north to the River Thames in the south, including the River Great Ouse and a small part of Greater London around Upminster.

Corporate informationEdit

Anglian Water Services Ltd is a private limited company that provides the majority Anglian Water branded services and utilities and is registered in England and Wales with company number 2366656.[2] A sister group exists including Anglian Water Property Holdings (UK) Ltd and Osprey Water Services Ltd.[2]

Customer serviceEdit

Anglian Water came joint first in the qualitative ‘Satisfaction by company’ league table for water and sewerage companies in Ofwat's Service Incentive Mechanism Annual Report 2012/13,[3] having ranked 4th in the same survey in 2011/12[4] and 15th in 2010/11[5]


Keep It ClearEdit

The Anglian Water "Keep It Clear" campaign aimed to reduce sewer blockages in the region caused by fats, oils, grease and unflushable items like baby wipes. The campaign also worked with community leaders to spread the word, and free sink strainers to stop food waste going the drain were also handed out. Following a seven-week trial in Peterborough blockages fell by more than 80%. The model is now being rolled out to other "hotspot" towns and cities in the region.[6]

Drop 20Edit

The campaign Drop 20 was a challenge for customers to reduce their daily consumption of water by 20 litres in order to reduce the energy required to heat and deliver the water and upkeep the infrastructure. It was especially important for Anglian because of the environmental reasons but also because the region is quite dry in comparison to other areas of the country. The company commented:

"Where there’s water, there’s carbon – and quite a bit of it. Every bath, flush or glug has CO2 built into it, thanks to all the processes it takes to get it to the tap. So using less water is good news for the planet. It’s good news for us too, because it’s our job to keep supplies flowing to over 6 million customers in this dry region."[7]


The Anglian Water Authority was formed by the Water Act 1973 as one of ten regional water authorities which took over statutory and local authority owned water supply and waste water (sewage) undertakings. Anglian Water was privatised as Anglian Water Services Limited in 1989. It is now a subsidiary of AWG plc.

Utilities acquiredEdit

The Anglian authority combined five river authorities with water utilities in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Humberside, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire and Suffolk:[8]

  • East Suffolk and Norfolk River Authority
  • Essex River Authority
  • Great Ouse River Authority
  • Lincolnshire River Authority
  • Welland and Nene River Authority
  • Ipswich Corporation
  • Buckingham Corporation
  • Norwich Corporation
  • Bedfordshire Water Board
  • Bucks Water Board
  • Colchester and District Water Board
  • East Lincolnshire Water Board
  • Ely, Mildenhall and Newmarket Water Board
  • Higham Ferrers and Rushden Water Board
  • Kesteven Water Board
  • Lincoln and District Water Board
  • Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board
  • Nene and Ouse Water Board
  • North East Lincolnshire Water Board
  • North Lindsey Water Board
  • North West Norfolk Water Board
  • Peterborough Corporation Water Works[9]
  • South Lincolnshire Water Board
  • South Norfolk Water Board
  • West Suffolk Water Board
  • Wisbech and District Water Board
  • Cambridge Water Company
  • East Anglian Water Company
  • Essex Water Company
  • Tendring Hundred Waterworks Company


It currently provides water for 2.6 million properties, and covers an area of 27,500 square kilometres.[10] In 1997 Anglian took over Hartlepool Water.

Anglian Water LeisureEdit

Anglian operates the reservoirs Rutland Water, Grafham Water, Alton Water, Pitsford Water, Ravensthorpe and Taverham Mill. Apart from providing water supplies, a separate leisure division has been formed to promote the use of these facilities for recreational use. Activities provided for include water sports, fishing, bird watching, cycling and walking.



In 2012/13 Anglian Water's leakage rate was 4.97m3/km/day; compared to 5.26m3/km/day in 2011/12, 6.10m3/km/day in 2010/11, 5.62m3/km/day in 2009/10, 5.60m3/km/day in 2008/09 and 2007/08.[11]

Drinking water qualityEdit

Drinking water quality in 2012 was 99.96%, as it was in 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2007. In 2008 it was 99.98%.[11]

Environmental recordEdit

Anglian Water states that it has a "commitment to the environment" and takes its "responsibility as a custodian of the environment very seriously."[12] Compliance failures have, however, caused it to be described by the Environment Agency as a "repeat offender" regarding pollution.[13][14][15] Instances include:

  • July 1992 - Fined £18,000 by magistrates at Fakenham, Norfolk, after dumping concentrated sewage into a creek at Wells-next-the-Sea.[16]
  • April 1993 - Ranked 8th in the National Rivers Authority's "top ten" list of worst polluters.[17][18]
  • January 1995 - Listed again in the National Rivers Authority's top ten of worst polluters having been convicted of polluting waterways on 16 occasions the previous year.[19]
  • February 1997 - Fined £7,500 at Luton Crown Court after admitting river pollution at Leighton Buzzard.[20]
  • February 1997 - Fined £2,000 with £783 costs after oil from its Heigham Waterworks in Norwich contaminated the River Wensum and its population of swans.[21]
  • July 1997 - Set a water industry record by receiving three convictions in one week for water pollution.[22]
  • January 1999 - Fined £10,000 with £4,800 costs at Witham Magistrates' Court for supplying water unfit for human consumption contrary to the Water Industry Act 1991. The prosecution was brought by the Drinking Water Inspectorate and related to supplying contaminated water to 11,000 people in Halstead, Essex, in December 1997.[23][24]
  • February 1999 - Fined £15,000 with £5,521 costs at Ipswich Crown Court for supplying water unfit for human consumption. The water was contaminated with bacteria from cow and pig manure, causing an outbreak of diarrhea and stomach cramps in customers.[25]
  • March 1999 - Ranked 6th in the Environment Agency's league table of "worst polluters" in England and Wales during 1998.[26]
  • July 2000 - Ranked 2nd in the Environment Agency's list of worst polluters, with total fines of £71,250 and 14 court appearances in 1999.[27]
  • September 2001 - Fined £21,000 with £7,345 in costs after pleading guilty to supplying water unfit for human consumption to consumers in areas of Bedfordshire in August 2000.[28][29]
  • October 2001 - 200 tons of raw sewage discharged from a treatment plant in Wickford into the River Crouch, killing fish and waterfowl along a 2 kilometer stretch of the river. In 2002 the company were fined £200,000 at Basildon Crown Court for the incident. The fine was later reduced on appeal.[30]
  • 2002 - Allowed pollution with raw sewage to wipe out most wildlife in Elstow Brook, Bedfordshire. Fined £190,000.[30]
  • July 2002 - Listed again by the Environment Agency in its top ten polluters league.[31]
  • February 2003 - Fined £17,000 for polluting the River Great Ouse in Norfolk with sewage.[32]
  • February 2003 - Fined £18,000 for pumping sewage effluent into the North Sea off Lowestoft.[32]
  • June 2003 - Fined £12,000 with £3,442 costs after contaminating a waterway with raw sewage overflow from a pumping station.[33]
  • July 2003 - Ranked 2nd in the Environment Agency's list of top ten polluters, with total fines of £285,000 for 2002.[34] Barbara Young, the chief executive of the Environment Agency, criticised the polluters for "treat[ing] Britain like a dustbin" and warned that the situation would continue so long as "pathetic" penalties meant that it made economic sense for the worst offenders to carry on polluting. "It seems extraordinary that multi-million-pound businesses are still prepared to risk their reputations with careless and avoidable neglect of environmental responsibility," she said.[35]
  • June 2004 - Fined £18,000 with £1,748 costs after admitting polluting near Wilstead, Bedfordshire.[36]
  • July 2004 - Listed again in the Environment Agency's top ten of polluters.[37]
  • June 2008 - A quarter of a million customers in Northampton, Daventry and the surrounding area were told to boil all drinking water for a month after drinking water samples were found to contain cryptosporidium. Vans with loudspeakers were used to warn people about the problem, which also forced the closure of seventeen schools. Supermarkets had to ration bottled water due to panic buying.[38]
  • October 2008 - Fined £150,000 for "repeated illegal discharging from sewage works."[39]
  • July 2010 - Fined £27,000 with £28,000 costs at Basildon Crown Court for allowing untreated sewage from one of its pumping stations to leak into the River Crouch at Wickford on 17 August 2009. This was Anglia Water's 90th conviction for polluting waterways.[40]
  • January 2011 - Fined £35,000 fine after discharging untreated sewage into the River Wid on 13 September 2009 killing hundreds of fish.[41]
  • May 2011 - Ranked first in an Environment Agency list of worst water polluters, with 296 "unconsented incidents".[42]
  • August 2011 - An Anglian Water pumping station caused sewage to leak into the River Crouch at Wickford and Runwell. Peter Steward, from the River Crouch Conservation Trust, said: "It is such a small river it can't cope with sewage leaks."[43]
  • December 2011 - Fined £32,000 with £3,974 costs at Lincoln Magistrates' Court after polluting a Lincoln stream. Between July 2004 and October 2008 five previous pollutions were attributed to blockages in the foul sewer and two formal cautions were issued to Anglian Water. "The defendant was aware of the vulnerability of the system before the 2011 incidents and failed to take appropriate measures," said Claire Bentley, prosecuting.[44]
  • October 2012 - Fined £36,000 with £5,973 costs at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court for polluting a 3 kilometer stretch of the River Chelmer in Thaxted, Essex in June 2012, killing hundreds of fish including lamprey, bullhead, minnow, stickleback and stone loach.[45] The fine was reduced on appeal.
  • March 2013 - Fined £20,000 with £2,896 costs after sewage spilled from a pumping station at Filby, near Great Yarmouth, into the Ormesby Little Broad. Between September 2006 and March 2011 there were five previous similar incidents.[46]

Carbon footprintEdit

The company's carbon emissions were 487,659 gross tonnes in 2012/13, compared to 485,273 in 2011/12, 504,026 in 2010/11, 493,702 in 2009/10, 498,115 in 2008/09 and 478,450 in 2007/08.[11]

Health and Safety RecordEdit

On the 18 December 2015, Anglian Water Services Limited (AWSL) was fined £400,000 with costs of £41,711 after pleading guilty to breaches of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Luton Crown Court heard that three workers were injured in two separate incidents at its water recycling centres in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, and Saffron Walden, Essex. The court also heard that Anglian Water Services Ltd has been at the centre of four previous prosecutions by HSE. The most recent of which were in 1997, 2004, and 2010. An improvement notice was served on AWSL following a fall from a height accident in 2007.[47]


  1. ^ "About us".
  2. ^ a b UK Companies House
  3. ^ "Service Incentive Mechanism report 2012" (PDF). Ofwat. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Service Incentive Mechanism report 2011" (PDF). Ofwat. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Service Incentive Mechanism report 2010" (PDF). Ofwat. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
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  7. ^ "Why Drop 20? | How you can help | Environment | Anglian Water". Anglian Water. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  8. ^ The Anglian Water Authority Constitution Order 1973 (1973 No. 1359)
  9. ^ Water works at Elton Hidden Heritage (retrieved 19 December 2009)
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External linksEdit