His comment relates to the recent revelation that Southern Water systematically avoided analysing samples of waste water and sending those results to the Environment Agency over a seven-year period. This deliberate evasion of its responsibility under the EA’s Operator Self Monitoring (OSM) programme resulted in a £3m fine and a requirement to pay back £126m to customers over a five-year period.
This is not the first time Southern Water has been found to have misreported information to a regulator. In 2008, it was fined £20.3m for supplying false data over its customer performance to Ofwat over a period of at least five years. Severn Trent Water was hit with a £35.8m fine the same year for a similar offence.