NORTHUMBRIAN Water is celebrating becoming the only company to achieve the highest grading in an annual performance test.

The water board was the only one to achieve the highest rating of four stars in the Environment Agency’s Environment Performance Assessment this year.

The Environment Agency said the results showed that Northumbrian Water had limited the impact of its operations on nature, at a time when the environmental performance of other national water companies was deteriorating.

Richard Warneford, wastewater director at Northumbrian Water Group, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the report which shows that we are really leading the way in the water industry when it comes to our environmental performance. This year, we have achieved a ‘green’ result in all six of the metrics that the Environment Agency assess us on, leading to a four-star rating, the highest rating we could achieve and only one other water company has achieved ‘green’ against all EPA metrics since 2012.”

To help achieve the rating, Northumbrian Water had adopted a new sampling and analysis process at its water treatment works, as well as investing in a £1m project to proactively assess its sewer network close to watercourses and other activity to upgrade vulnerable assets.

Executive director of operations at the Environment Agency, Dr Toby Willison, praised the water company and said others needed to follow its act.