Southern Water will hand out over £40 million to customers after it failed to meet its watchdog targets.

Water regulator Ofwat said in its performance review that a net total of around £114 million will be returned to water customers across the UK.

As part of this, Southern Water has announced that it will return money to shareholders after not reaching all but one of its Ofwat targets.

Southern Water customers will be set to receive around £42.9 million after the company failed to meet its targets. The company did, however, meet one target on unplanned outages.

The water supplier made £248.9 million in profits in 2023 but previously announced it had suspended dividends until 2025.

A report in July showed that the company was in billions of pounds' worth of debt and was flagged by Ofwat for its "financial resilience".

The company has said it is looking to raise over £500 million from shareholders to invest across its network, including in Sussex.


Southern Water has been criticised for pumping sewage into the sea in recent months with reports of more than 60 “dry spills” last year.

The Ofwat report also found that Southern Water was “lagging” against its metrics rating water companies.

A Southern Water spokesman said: “Under new leadership since last year, we’ve been clear we need to do better, and in April this year, we set out an ambitious Turnaround Plan, supported by significant new investment from shareholders of £1.6bn since 2021.

“This is allowing us to spend a record £3bn on our network between 2020 and 2025 – the equivalent of £1,500 per household.

"This year, we are already seeing encouraging signs of performance improvement - reducing pollutions and leakage and improving customer service – in line with our plans.

“We realise that these improvements will take time to feed through into future performance metrics, and we are determined to continue improving.”

Southern Water also previously committed to testing seawater to ensure water quality as well as a host of other measures to try and protect the public from sewage spills.