The Environment Agency has told Anglian Water - the water company that oversees Northamptonshire's network - to clean up its act in a new report.
The company's efforts to protect the environment were described as ‘simply unacceptable’ in a new Environment Agency (EA) report with only one of the major water and sewage companies in England performing at the level expected.
Of those companies Anglian Water was given a three-star performance rating meaning it must improve its performance to reduce its impact on the environment.
An Anglian Water spokesman said the company is making good progress towards achieving its zero pollution goal and pollution incidents have fallen since its 2017 levels.
“By investing in the latest technology and state-of-the-art monitoring, we know more about when, where and why pollutions occur, allowing us to focus our investment where it will have the biggest impact," he said.
"And we remain committed to delivering innovative solutions that deliver additional environmental benefit. But we know there’s no room for complacency, and we’re absolutely determined to improve further and achieve a four-star rating.
“We’ll also continue to invest in initiatives such as Keep it Clear, to discourage people from putting the wrong things down the drains, which lead to serious sewer blockages and pollutions, as well as in RiverCare and BeachCare, to actively support communities to protect their local environment, watercourses and coastline.”
The company was criticised by Manfai Tang, operations manager at the Environment Agency.
He said: "Anglian Water faces a number of significant challenges in a high-growth, water-stressed region. And although we are seeing a constructive approach in how they’re dealing with these challenges, we want to see their performance improve to reduce the company’s impact on the environment.
"The number of pollution incidents is falling but their self-reporting and compliance with discharge and waste permits must improve."
Anglian Water was, though, been commended for a new environmental project in Norfolk, where the creation of a new wetland is helping improve biodiversity and the quality of water discharged from their sewage treatment works.
The annual report rates each of the nine water and sewerage companies in England as either green, amber or red on a range of measures including serious pollution, pollution per km of sewer pipes, supply resilience, self-reporting of pollution and complying with permits – and also compares individual company performance to highlight the best and worst.
Northumbrian Water was the only company achieving the highest four-star rating.
Severn Trent Water, United Utilities and Wessex Water dropped from four stars to three stars, with Anglian Water and Thames Water remaining on three stars.
Southern Water, South West Water and Yorkshire Water were only given two stars and described as demonstrating an "unacceptable level of performance."