Southern Water spent nearly £1bn since 2020 as it works to 'turnaround' poor performance

Southern Water's logo on the side of its building. Credit: ITV Meridian

One of the UK's biggest water companies, Southern Water, has spent nearly £1bn since 2020 new figures show.

Data released by the company, which handles freshwater supplies and sewerage services for millions, revealed what it describes as a major investment across its network.

This year marks a 'final stretch' for its turnaround plan which was designed to deliver fast-tracked improvements to its performance, which in the latest review by the Environment Agency 'required improvement'.

Southern Water said the spending showed its commitment to customers as it 'strives to live up to customer expectations'.

One of Southern Water' treatment works. Credit: ITV News Meridian

By this time next year, it expects total spending to pass £1.5bn, one of the biggest spends in its history.

The company stressed that this money is in addition to its 'reactionary' work, including current efforts to reduce storm overflows into rivers and seas.

In Hampshire, Southern Water has spent a total of £251 million so far. This includes £97 million on its 'Water for Life Hampshire' scheme, which includes plans for a new reservoir near Havant.

On the Isle of Wight, it spent £5.6 million. This included £3m on improving the resilience of supplies to the island to better 'withstand extreme weather events'.

WATCH: ITV Meridian's Matt Teale speaks to Southern Water about their performance.

In Sussex, Southern invested £333 million pounds into the network. £157m of this was used to 'better its wastewater treatment processes' at 37 of its sites and reduce the impact to the environment.

In Kent, £276 million was allocated to improve its performance. £30m of this was used to increase storm water storage at 16 sites to reduce overflows into the sea.

John Penicud, Southern Water’s Director for Wastewater Operations, said: “As we enter an absolutely crucial year for Southern Water and the wider water industry, it is right that we are open with our customers about what we are spending on improving our performance and where the money is going.

“Contrary to some claims aired in the media and among the public, I’d like to reassure you that we are spending our bill payers’ and our shareholders’ money in an ambitious, targeted and evidence-based way to fix the issues we know we face.

“These figures on planned infrastructure projects demonstrate that very clearly, and we will keep pushing ahead to achieve the results everyone wants to see.”

Have you heard our new podcast Talking Politics? Every week Tom, Robert and Anushka dig into the biggest issues dominating the political agenda…