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The Stench of the Sewage Scandal Grows Stronger - Surfers Against Sewage

(image: Ben Birchall / Surfers Against Sewage)
(image: Ben Birchall / Surfers Against Sewage)

Today, we reveal yet further shocking evidence of the sewage pollution crisis plaguing the UK’s seas and rivers through our 2021 Water Quality Report. Our findings categorically show that water companies are increasing the discharge of harmful amounts of sewage into the environment with devastating consequences to the health of people and planet – all whilst they claim that improvements are being made. Our report uncovers that:

These findings come just days after the shocking announcement that water companies are at the center of a major investigation by financial and environmental watchdogs the Environment Agency and Ofwat after admitting they may have illegally released untreated sewage into rivers and waterways. The stink grows stronger by the day.

And once again, there appears to be a leading culprit, the worst of a bad bunch – Southern Water. After failing to provide hardly any sewer discharge notifications last year, this year we reveal that over the course of the bathing season, Southern Water issued 1,949 sewage discharge notifications, at an eyewatering average of 38 notifications per bathing water. Furthermore, almost 30% of the 286 health reports submitted to us came from Southern Water’s operating area.

Our report also throws into question the classification system used by regulators to indicate the quality of designated bathing waters. We’ve found a higher average number of sewer overflow discharges notifications at locations classified as ‘excellent’ and ‘good’ than locations classified ‘sufficient’ and ‘poor’. This is opposite to the expected trend, suggesting that bathing water classified as ‘excellent’ and ‘good’ may in fact be experiencing significant sewage pollution.

Read the 2021 Water Quality Report

Posted on: 25 November 2021

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