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Storm overflows monitoring hits 100% target - Defra and Environment Agency

Every storm overflow across England’s water network is now monitored.

100% of storm overflows across the water network in England have now been fitted with Event Duration Monitors (EDMs), meeting the ambitious target set by the government to do so by the end of 2023.

Event Duration Monitors increase transparency by measuring how, when and for how long a storm overflow is in operation. This shows the public when discharges are happening, and helps the government and regulators to better hold water companies to account for illegal sewage spills and improve knowledge of overflow operation to identify where improvements can be made.

In 2010, just 7% of storm overflows had monitors fitted. Since then, the government has driven an increase in monitoring, with 100% oversight of overflows now achieved. This delivers on commitments in our Plan for Water which sets out our plans for more investment, stronger regulation and tougher enforcement in the water sector.

The installation of monitors rapidly accelerated under this government in 2013 when Lord Benyon instructed water companies to increase their storm overflow monitoring.

Storm overflows are an automatic safety valve that release excess pressure on the network from flooding and heavy rain – preventing sewage backing up into properties and stopping widespread mains pipe bursts across the country. They should, however, only be used under strict permit conditions. Increased monitoring will give government and regulators the information they need to take action when permits are breached.


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Posted On: 03/01/2024

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