Sewage dumping stats attacked

23 Apr 2024

Sewage was dumped into rivers in Taunton Deane for 15,720 hours in 2023, new figures have revealed.

This is a shocking 194% rise in the duration of sewage spills compared to the previous year, showing how the sewage scandal has worsened under the Conservative government’s watch.

The analysis is based on official data from the Environment Agency, compiled by the House of Commons Library for the Liberal Democrats.

It shows sewage was dumped into local rivers on 1,736 separate occasions in 2023. 

This is an 88% increase in the number of sewage spills, up from 922 in 2022.

Last year, sewage was dumped into England’s rivers over 460,000 times for a total of over 3.6 million hours in 2023.

Nine in ten constituencies in England saw a rise in the duration of sewage dumping and 90% saw a rise in the number of spills in 2023 compared to the previous year.

The Liberal Democrats have led the way in campaigning against sewage dumping for years.

The party is calling for strict measures including replacing Ofwat with a tougher regulator, a ban on bonuses for water company bosses whose firms have dumped sewage into waterways and the declaration of a national environmental emergency.

Gideon Amos, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Taunton and Wellington, said: “It is disgusting that, even after all the publicity to this issue, there has now been such a sharp rise in sewage being pumped into our area’s rivers by these profiteering companies.

“People in Taunton and Wellington are increasingly angry about the practice yet Conservative MPs are voting time and again to allow water companies to get away with this kind of environmental vandalism. The whole thing stinks.

“Come the election, this government will have to face a reckoning at the ballot box from people fed up with this sewage scandal.

“The Liberal Democrats have led the way for years campaigning for tougher action to stop these private companies putting shareholders ahead of the cleanliness of our river.


“We want to see a tougher water regulator, an end to bonuses for polluting water company bosses and stronger protections for our local environment.”

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