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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.

  • Information already available

    We have and continue to add a large amount of information on this website including the following:

    • Annual review - 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.

    Environmental information

    The following is classed to be '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).

    How to request 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. 

    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 email  or write to:

    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'll also send the details of the request to . This is so we are able to respond to individual environmental information enquiries in a consistent way.

    Fees charged for environmental information

    We have the discretion to ask for a reasonable charge for environmental information. Based on guidance issued by the Information Commissioner, the following fees will be used to cover our costs for responding to requests for environmental information:

    • staff time spent locating, retrieving and extracting the information requested will be charged at £25 per hour
    • printing and copying information requested will be charged at 10p per page.  Postage fees will also be charged at cost. 

    We reserve the right to waive the fee.

    When we receive a request, we will advise you whether a fee will be charged and the amount. If a fee is due and you wish to proceed, we will send 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 on this website, on the public register, or can be examined at a Wessex Water office.

    Environmental information we cannot 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 Commissioner's 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're entitled to refuse requests which are "manifestly unreasonable" based on the Information Commissioner's guidance .

    Managing environmental information

    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.

    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.

    How to complain about the way we handled your request

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

    Step 1:  You may request an internal review of the decision taken.  The review will be undertaken by a senior team member who will examine your request, the information involved and our original response.

    Internal review requests should be submitted in writing within 40 working days of receiving the response to your request and should set out how you believe we have not fulfilled the requirements of the EIR.  They should be addressed to either or:

    Environment & Catchment Strategy Team
    Wessex Water
    Regional Operations Centre
    Claverton Down
    BA2 7WW.

    The outcome of the internal review will be provided to you as soon as possible and no later than 40 working days after we received your review request.

    Step 2:  If you're unsatisfied with the outcome of our internal review process, you should contact the Information Commissioner's Office:

    Information Commissioners Office 
    Wycliffe House 
    Water Lane 
    SK9 5AF

    Telephone: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 
    Fax: 01625 524510 

    Further information

    For further information about the EIR, visit the Information Commissioner's Office .
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