A water company fined £90 million for dumping raw sewage into the sea has been nominated for multiple awards for its positive impact on the environment.

Southern Water is up for three gongs at this year’s Water Industry Awards which it says are for its work to “protect and enhance” the environment.

The supplier pumped sewage into waterways 16,000 times in 2022 and the news it could take home three prizes for good practice has angered the leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.

The Argus: Sewage pumped into the sea at Seaford in August 2022Sewage pumped into the sea at Seaford in August 2022 (Image: Submitted)

“Senior water company executives responsible for the disgusting dumping of sewage in our sea should be facing criminal investigation, not eyeing up trophy cabinets,” said Councillor Bella Sankey.

“Southern Water’s dangerous practices saw sewage being dumped thousands of times last year.

“They spewed sewage from Saltdean 45 times, almost once a week for a year, and for 107 hours in total.

The Argus: Cllr Sankey has criticised the water companyCllr Sankey has criticised the water company (Image: Submitted)

“In Shoreham there were 30 spills lasting 90 hours and the drift brings this sewage all along our coast, as we have seen very recently.”

Cllr Sankey also criticised central government for failing to tackle the issue.

“The Tories have failed to regulate water companies across the country and our infrastructure is now unfit for purpose,” she said.

“It will be up to Labour to stop the sewage dumping and make our seas and waterways safe for us all to use.”

The Argus: Southern Water was keen to highlight its achievementsSouthern Water was keen to highlight its achievements (Image: Twitter)

Southern Water hit back saying “nearly all water companies take part” in the awards which are to highlight “good examples” of work.

“These are water industry trade awards in which our teams have been shortlisted for their sector-leading efforts in exploring innovative engineering and nature-based solutions to the use of storm overflows and to protect and enhance our environment,” said a spokesman for the company.

READ MORE: Southern Water update on sewage release in Seaford

The water company highlighted that the £90 million fine was related to “historic offences” between 2010 and 2015.

Southern Water said £2 billion is being invested in its network between 2020 and 2025.

A spokesman for the Water Industry Awards said: "The awards focus on the key challenges for the sector, including better managing assets, tackling leaks and supporting customers.

"Innovation in these areas is absolutely essential to deliver the best possible service for customers at the lowest cost.”

The company is nominated for asset management initiative of the year, the groundbreaker award for its slow-drain water butts and natural capital initiative of the year.

The winners will be revealed on June 29.