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The CWA has pointed out to Thames Water that several non-compliant hand car washes are operating in its area

The UK’s largest water company is ignoring its legal responsibilities by failing to clamp down on rogue car wash providers.
That is the accusation levelled at Thames Water by Gordon Balmer, executive director of the Car Wash Association.
He says that, despite its widely publicised financial troubles, the company must fulfil its obligations under the Water Industry Act of 1991 to enforce the law against hand car wash firms operating without waste water permits.
“As the Thames Water saga drags on, the company is ignoring its responsibility to keep our environment clean,” said Balmer, who also heads the Petrol Retailers Association.
“CWA members have upgraded their car washes thereby continuing their sustainable efforts, setting them apart from unregulated hand car washes,” he added.
“We have pointed out to Thames Water that several non-compliant hand car washes are operating in their area without the requisite permits to dispose of foul water and worse still, continuing to discharge car wash trade effluent into storm water drains. Failure to enforce this not only encourages operators to flout environmental laws but sadly, as we have seen, many of these operations are also guilty of ignoring basic employment laws and business taxes.”
Thames Water, which is responsible for disposing of sewage and providing clean water to 16 million households and businesses across a swathe of London and the Thames Valley, this week made a bid to the regulator to let it raise consumer bills by over 44% to fund investment in infrastructure.
Ofwat already refused an earlier request by the heavily indebted firm to increase what its customers pay for its services. The company has come under fire for water leaks and sewage spillages into rivers. Its debts have led to suggestions that the government may have to step in and take it into public ownership.

Thames Water and Water UK, which represents water and wastewater companies, declined to comment.