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Environment Secretary Therese Coffey has called on all water companies in England to provide “clear plans” on how to keep raw sewage out of their rivers.
Ms Coffey urges all water and sewerage companies, especially those with heavy use and those flooding the 5,000 beaches and priority nature reserves, to take action on all storm overflows. I asked for a plan.
She provides details of the storm overflows being used, where these may affect, the number and duration of spills in the last year, and what measures companies will take to mitigate pollution in the future. I asked the company to provide it.
Storms discharged into rivers and oceans are meant to occur only during heavy rains and thaws to stop the sewage system from backing up into people’s homes.
“We did a lot more, [sewage overflows] “More than any other government … still has important work to do,” Coffey said.
“I now urge all companies to have a clear plan of what they are doing each time a storm hits, prioritizing places where people swim and close to our most precious habitats. I am asking.”
She also pledged the government to invest more in projects like the Thames Tidal Tunnel, a 15-mile-long “super sewer” being dug under the River Thames. Year.
The UK sewage system relies on a system called combined overflow where stormwater and sewage are drained through the same pipes.
During periods of storms and heavy rains, this excess water is released into rivers to prevent excess water from entering the streets and people’s homes.
The practice is legal as long as the company has permission to do so, and it’s estimated that it could cost up to £280bn to upgrade water infrastructure to prevent storm overflows entirely.
I This month, regulators learned that water companies don’t know how much sewage they are pumping into rivers due to a lack of sensors.
The government claims it will significantly increase monitoring of sewage discharge from just 5% in 2016 to about 90% in 2021, aiming to reach 100% by the end of this year.
Last year, the government created a storm plan to force water companies to invest in stopping untreated sewage discharges, reducing the amount of sewage flowing into bathing water and ecologically important areas by 2035 and We have set a deadline to stop. Discharge raw sewage to another location.
But campaigners say the plan hasn’t gone far enough and they plan to challenge it in the High Court for further scrutiny.
Last summer, there was widespread public outrage after dozens of popular bathing spots, including locations in Devon and Cornwall, were contaminated with raw sewage after heavy rains.
The environment secretary also announced a new plan to speed up the process of fines water companies by opening the way for civil sanctions.
Save Britain’s Rivers Campaign
I and its sister title new scientistIt is one of the world’s leading scientific journals.
Next year, we’ll bring you a poignant report that illuminates the crisis with in-depth research, feature stories, podcasts, and live events.
of save our river A campaign has three objectives:
1. Find out what is happening in Britain’s rivers and why.
2. Raise awareness and understanding of the plight of our rivers and the horrific effects of pollution on people and nature.
3. Policy Changes. We create a river manifesto. This is a powerful, bipartisan plan on how to fix them.
We will be speaking with experts, policy makers, business leaders and public officials. We also look forward to hearing from you. I Tell your readers stories about your local rivers and streams.
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Regulators now have to prosecute water companies illegally polluting rivers through courts, a long and very expensive process.
The new route of civil sanctions overseen by the Environment Agency is expected to be introduced by the government via secondary legislation in stages over the next few months.