Toughest targets ever introduced will crack down on sewage spills - Defra

a long green algae covered pipe juts out of beach sand disgorging dirty water onto the clean sand beneath the pipe
Outfall pipe (photo: Andrew Martin)

Strictest targets ever for water companies set out by government in new plan to tackle sewage discharges.

Water companies will face the strictest targets on pollution from sewage ever under a new plan to tackle sewage discharges in our waters, set out by government today.

The government’s plan will require them to deliver their largest ever environmental infrastructure investment - £56 billion capital investment over 25 years - into a long term programme to tackle storm sewage discharges by 2050. The plan frontloads action in particularly important and sensitive areas including designated bathing waters and high priority ecological sites.

The targets will mean they need to take measures such as increasing the capacity of their networks and treating sewage before its discharged to protect public health and prevent pollution, whilst massively reducing all discharges. Failure to meet these targets could see them face substantial fines or having to return money to customers.

The Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan is the most significant investment and delivery programme ever undertaken by water companies to protect people and the environment.

Under the plans announced today, water companies will have to achieve a number of targets, so that discharges only happen when there is unusually heavy rain and when there is no immediate adverse impact to the local environment.

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Posted On: 26/08/2022

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