Southern Water provides discount to clients after Bob Geldof sewage dispute

Southern Water, one of the largest water companies in the UK, has announced a discount for its customers following a dispute with musician and activist Bob Geldof over sewage pollution.

The dispute began when Geldof, who owns a property in Kent, accused Southern Water of dumping raw sewage into the River Great Stour, which runs through his land. Geldof claimed that the pollution had caused damage to the river and its wildlife, and demanded that Southern Water take action to address the issue.

Southern Water initially denied the allegations, but later admitted that it had breached environmental regulations by discharging untreated sewage into the river. The company was fined £90 million by the regulator Ofwat in 2019, and has since been working to improve its environmental performance.

As part of its efforts to make amends with customers affected by the pollution, Southern Water has announced a discount of up to 10% on bills for those living in the affected area. The discount will be available to customers who can demonstrate that they have been directly impacted by the pollution, such as by experiencing flooding or damage to property.

In a statement, Southern Water said: “We recognise that we have let our customers down in the past, and we are committed to making things right. We hope that this discount will go some way towards compensating those who have been affected by our actions.”

The move has been welcomed by environmental campaigners, who have long called for water companies to take greater responsibility for their impact on the environment. However, some have criticised the discount as insufficient, arguing that Southern Water should be doing more to address the root causes of pollution.

Geldof himself has not commented on the discount, but has previously called for greater accountability from water companies. In a statement in 2019, he said: “Water companies have a duty to protect our rivers and the wildlife that depends on them. It’s time for them to take that duty seriously, and to be held accountable when they fail to do so.”

Overall, the dispute between Southern Water and Geldof has highlighted the need for greater transparency and accountability in the water industry. While the discount is a positive step, it remains to be seen whether Southern Water will take further action to address the environmental impact of its operations.