Thames Water dumped sewage 8,014 times in rivers last year

17 Apr 2023

New figures released by the Environment Agency show that Thames Water discharged sewage into waterways a staggering 8,014 times last year.

The sewage discharges by Thames Water lasted 74,693 hours.

The Government allows water companies to discharge raw sewage into rivers, lakes and coastlines following a storm. This includes sewage being pumped into bathing water areas and wildlife habitats.

Waltham Forest Liberal Democrats have called for a ban on these sewage discharges in protected waters, as well as a ban on water company executives being paid multi-million pound bonuses.

The Environment Agency data released on Friday 31st March has revealed raw sewage was spilled into English rivers 824 times a day last year – despite the fact there was barely any rainfall and most of the country was in drought.

The Liberal Democrats in Parliament recently revealed water companies breached their sewage permits over 500 times last year, double compared to the previous year.

The Lib Dems are calling on the Government to end sewage dumping in rivers and seas and put a sewage tax on water companies profits.

Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson for Leyton & Wanstead, Tara Copeland said:

“These figures are a damning verdict on the Government’s attempt to stop Thames Water from dumping sewage into our waterways.

“Local people are furious that our swimming locations and previous wildlife habitats have become poisoned with raw sewage. The Conservative Government just doesn't seem to care. I think it’s time the Environment Secretary resigned and was replaced with somebody who actually cares about our rivers and lakes.

“It is time Ministers got tough with Thames Water. They are raking in massive profits all whilst destroying the environment. Frankly, the whole thing stinks."

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