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You Are Not Alone

A few words from fellow boycotters


Liz Foreman

Yoga Teacher

“Last year I was disgusted to learn about the amount of raw sewage that Southern Water was pumping into the sea right where I swim, and all around our coast. I immediately notified the company that I would be withholding my bill payment to them until they rectified this. As someone who grew up in the 1970s, swimming and enjoying sea life in Whitstable, I have seen a decline in marine life too, and I care greatly about applying pressure on Southern Water to stop polluting our sea.”

Katy Colley

Campsite Owner

"Whenever I’ve spoken to my water company and explained what I’m doing, taking my complaint to the CCW or WATRS, they agree to put my account on hold for a month. I renew this ‘hold’ regularly and it appears they accept there is a valid and outstanding dispute to be resolved. They also tend to get a bit nervy when I tell them I don’t want to be ‘harassed’ while this complaint is outstanding. Withholding a disputed part of your bill is not a crime but harassment is. Companies can be charged with this offence. I think it’s useful to know that."


Emma Gibson

Former Campaigns Director of Greenpeace

"My partner and I have been truly inspired by how many people have joined in the campaign to withhold their payments from Southern Water. This gives us the resolve to hold out for as long as we can.”

Angela Jones

Wild Swimmer  and Environmentalist

"I’ve withheld for 2 1/2 years now  and I'm on my 5th debt collectors.  Every time they phone I always talk to them. When they realise who I am they often agree with me. I don’t get a penny for what I do, but I’m willing to take it all the way. You have to go into it full-hearted and not just dabble. Rather than refusing to pay the bill, I have "withheld" the money. It is now sitting in an account marked 'Welsh Water' and I’m happy to pay it but only when they start providing a proper service."


Julie Wassmer

Author and Activist 

"I began withholding payment for the waste water portion of my bill in October 2021 because my own local company, Southern Water, proved itself to be wholly unreliable and untrustworthy. Southern Water is not only a serious serial offender regarding sewage dumping it's actually a criminal company which has used deception as part of its practices in order to try and conceal its criminal activities. I have no reason to believe it will change even though it's employed some greenwashing tactics with a change of CEO. I consider it immoral to reward Southern Water with payment for its crimes and I consider the whole experience of privatisation has proved to be a toxic failure. I believe the government needs to take back state control in the same way it was forced to do when the privatised Railtrack proved itself to be an unacceptable safety risk to the public."

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Chris Stanley

Retired magistrate

“In my 80th year I get great pleasure from regularly swimming in the sea but I have had to miss healthy exercise many times this year as Southern Water has regularly dumped sewage into Whitstable Bay. I will not pay until the company stops the disgraceful pollution of our sea.”

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Mike Slade

"Why have I given up on Southern Water? First, for reneging on their duty to provide a lawful, high quality service - instead expecting me to fund pollution and destruction of wildlife. Second, for denying me the right to object - and dismissing my positive suggestions. Third, for contravening the laws that regulate them - whilst deeming the laws they hide behind to be sacred. Fourth, for promising countless improvements - then delivering the usual poor performance. Fifth, for rewarding themselves with sky-high dividends - fuelled by profiteering. For these reasons, I feel I can no longer support this company morally or financially."

Claire North
 Resident of Barnham, West Sussex

Southern Water are releasing sewage into the seas and rivers in my local area and - despite being fined £90million in 2019 after an investigation by the Environment Agency - they are still doing it. Even in Chichester Harbour which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Bathing water is poor and I cannot let my children play in the sea at beaches nearby without the fear of them getting ill. Is this really fair to my children? Aldwick & Littlehampton near me are particularly bad and it stinks - literally.

In my opinion Southern Water are not doing what I pay them to do and what I expect them to do. So I'm not paying. They are profiteering and paying their shareholders but not fulfilling their duties to their customers, future generations or the environment.

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