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customer.services@wessexwater.co.uk
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0345 600 4 600

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm (emergencies only at other times)

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  • Environmental information

    The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) apply to water companies such as Wessex Water, allowing you to ask us for information about our activities that relate to, or affect, the environment. Please note that the Freedom of Information Act requirements do not apply to Wessex Water.

    What information is already available?

    We already have a large amount of information on this website, and we will continue to add material:

    • Annual report - our annual report contains details of our latest environmental performance and our perspective on a range of issues
    • Sustainability – provides information on our approach to sustainability, including details on customers and communities, the environment, our employees, infrastructure, finance and a range of case studies.
    • Environmental policy- our long-standing policy that underpins our environmental activities
    • Water resources - managing resources, reducing leakage and the quality of the drinking water we supply
    • Save water - encouraging people to conserve water around the home and at work
    • Sewage - treating society’s waste water and how we deal with the resulting sewage sludge
    • Low flow rivers - our work in river stretches that can experience low flows during prolonged dry weather
    • Climate change - reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions, and ensuring we can adapt to a changing climate
    • Biodiversity Action Plan - our work to help protect wildlife in our region, in line with national targets for biodiversity (the variety of life).
    • Wildlife and conservation access - opportunities for recreation at sites such as reservoirs.

    What counts as ‘environmental information’?

    a - the state of the elements of the environment such as air, atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape and natural sites

    b - substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into the environment that could affect the elements in (a)

    c - policies, legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements and activities affecting or likely to affect things in (a) and (b)

    d - reports on the implementation of environmental legislation

    e - cost-benefit and other economic analyses

    f - the state of human health and safety in as much as they are or may be affected by the state of the elements referred to in (a) or by factors or measures in (b) and (c).

    Who is entitled to ask for environmental information?

    Anyone can make a request for environmental information.  You do not have to refer to the Environmental Information Regulations specifically in your request, although it helps us if you do so that we can direct the enquiry to the appropriate team.

    I have a particular environmental information request

    If you would like to request environmental information from us, please let us know the following:

    • what exactly you want to know?
    • the format you would like the information in, eg, letter, email, telephone call
    • your contact details.

    You can submit your request by:

    Environmental Information Requests
    Environment and Catchment Strategies Team
    Wessex Water Services Ltd
    Claverton Down Road
    Bath BA2 7WW

    If anyone in Wessex Water is asked for environmental information, they will also send the details of the request to env.info@wessexwater.co.uk.  This is so we are able to respond to individual environmental information enquiries in a consistent way.

    How long will the information take to arrive?

    We should respond to you within 20 working days from the day when the request was received, although we will typically respond sooner. In certain circumstances, for example where a large volume of material has been requested, we would be permitted to respond within 40 working days.

    Will I be charged a fee?

    We have the discretion to ask for a reasonable charge for environmental information. In practice, the following fees will be used depending on the time taken to meet the request:

      Up to 1 working day More than 1 working day
    Members of the public, non-governmental organisations £25 £25 plus £5/hour
    Public sectors organisations £30 £30 plus £10/hour
    Businesses £40 £40 plus £20/hour

    Wessex Water reserves the right to waive the fee.

    Wessex Water will notify you upon receipt of a request as to whether a fee will be charged and the amount. If a fee is due and you wish to proceed, we will pass you the information following payment of the fee. 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 that is on this website, on the public register, or can be examined at a Wessex Water office.

    Is there any environmental information that Wessex Water can not pass on?

    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. Information about these exemptions is available from the Information Commissioners Office.

    If we refuse to disclose all or part of the information requested, we will state, in writing, what exception the information falls under and explain our decision. The person requesting the information has a right to appeal this decision, initially to ourselves, and after that to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

    In some instances, the information may simply not exist – we will explain if this is the case. Or, it might be that another public body holds the information requested; if we are aware that this is the case, we will pass the request on to them, or refer on the person making the request.

    Unreasonable requests

    We are entitled to refuse requests which are "manifestly unreasonable”, based on the Information Commissioner’s guidance

    Is Wessex Water destroying environmental information it wants to hide?

    No! 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. At the same time, 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.

    I’m not happy with how Wessex Water dealt with my request

    If you made a request but you do not feel that Wessex Water dealt with it in accordance with the EIR, you have the right to register a complaint as follows:

    Step 1

    The Wessex Water complaints procedure.  See Operational enquiries and complaints.

    Step 2

    The Information Commissioner’s Office. If you are unsatisfied with the Wessex Water complaints procedure, you should contact this national body:

    Information Commissioners Office,
    Wycliffe House,
    Water Lane,
    Wilmslow,
    Cheshire
    SK9 5AF

    Telephone: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745
    Fax: 01625 524510
    Email: casework@ico.org.uk
    Web: https://ico.org.uk/concerns/

    Further information

    For further information about the EIR, visit:

    Information Commissioner’s Office - https://ico.org.uk/

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