Severn Trent slams WCA over its bottle attack

The Water Companies Association has defended its attack on bottled water last week, following accusations that the criticism was misguided.

The Water Companies Association has defended its attack on bottled

water last week, following accusations that the criticism was

misguided.



The WCA represents 17 local smaller water supply companies, including

Bristol Water, Hartlepool Water and Three Valleys Water. Nine of the ten

water and sewage companies, privatised in 1989, are represented by the

Water Services Association.



In a letter to the WCA, Brian Duckworth, managing director of Severn

Trent Water, which is not a WCA member , said the attack would do more

more harm than good to the water industry’s image.



Graham Leftwich, head of PR at Severn Trent, said: ’We agree that people

buying bottled water are paying a thousand times more than they need to.

But you don’t portray the industry in a positive light by rubbishing

someone else.’



The WCA, headed by former IPR president Pamela Taylor, claimed the

coverage had been hugely successful.



’Within the industry there’s an attitude that you can’t say anything

positive because if something goes wrong you will be knocked back,’ said

Adrian Beeby, WCA’s head of PR.



The water industry has come under fire for its handling of leakage and

droughts, with executives’ salaries attracting ’fat cat’ criticism.



A spokesman for the WSA was reluctant to comment on the row and said it

saw its focus as on water supplies.



’Our tap water is among the best in the world and there’s no reason why

customers should need to buy water. But they do have a right to choose,’

he said.



Leader, p9.



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