Wastewater spills fell 19% in 2022, according to the figures

The figures, which include data from England’s 10 water and sewerage companies, show a total of 301,091 discharges in 2022, an average of 824 per day. This is down from 372,533 in 2021.

Of the 13,323 storm surges with monitoring data, 3% spilled more than 100 times compared to 5% in 2021, while the average number of storm surge spills was 23 compared to 29 the previous year .

The data also showed that 18% of storm surges did not spill at all, compared to 13% in 2021.

Water companies are only supposed to discharge sewage from storm overflows during periods of heavy rain and under strictly permitted conditions so that the system is not overwhelmed and backs up in people’s homes.

But activists have said they are discharging much more often than they should, even when it hasn’t rained, and have repeatedly called on water companies to use their profits to invest in more infrastructure.

The EA said it shares the public’s concern about sewage discharges and is urging water companies to improve storm surge maintenance, management and investment.

John Leyland, chief executive of EA, said: “The decline in spills in 2022 is largely due to dry weather, not action by the water company.

“We want to see faster progress from water companies to reduce spills and act on monitoring data.

“We expect them to fully understand the details of their networks and to maintain and invest in them to the high standard that the public expects and the regulator demands.”

Currently, 91% of storm surges provide monitoring data, up from 89% in 2021, and the EA has given water companies until the end of this year to install monitors at all storm surges.

The EA said it will use this data to help inform the next round of environmental improvement plans for water companies.

Winter time February 18, 2020
Water minister Rebecca Pow said the government is making water companies invest £56bn (Steve Parsons/PA)

Water Minister Rebecca Pow said: “The volume of wastewater being discharged into our waters is unacceptable and we are taking steps to make sure polluters are held accountable.

“By incorporating extensive monitoring (from just 7% in 2010 to the most extensive level to date at 91%), this government and its regulators have allowed the extent of wastewater discharges to be revealed so that we are better off equipped to address this problem. challenge.”

He also said the Government is making water companies invest £56bn in infrastructure over the next 25 years.

Jim McMahon MP, Shadow Environment Secretary for the Labor Party, added: “For the Tories to continue to give the green light to 824 sewage discharges a day in towns, cities and villages across our country shows they have no respect for British communities.

“People should be able to just enjoy where they live, work and vacation without having to worry about the Tory sewage scandal littering their areas. Local businesses shouldn’t have to worry about government failures affecting the tourism trade.”


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