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Southern Water denies underspend claims

Southern Water has hit back at OFWAT, which last week published a report claiming that water companies had underspent on their improvement pledges for the 2005-2010 improvement programme by almost £1bn.
Southern claims that rather than underspend, the company has in fact spent £25.6M more on its wastewater treatment maintenance programme than it pledged.The company has already spent £317M of the £1.6bn pledged for 2005-2010 across Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.Southern also claims to have opened 45 schemes to improve treated wastewater, up substantially on the 12 schemes pledged.However, OFWAT's 'Financial performance and expenditure of the water companies in England and Wales 2005-06' report, published last week, singled-out Southern for not investing enough money into sewerage non-infrastructure, which it described as 'deteriorating', but praised its new action plan.Severn Trent was the only water company to exceed Southern's spend on sewerage in 2005/6.

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