Data gathered by Surfers Against Sewage revealed beaches in Cornwall, Cumbria, Devon, Essex, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Northumberland and Sussex were affected by storm sewage discharge into waterways. The environmental group has been campaigning for water companies to be stopped from allowing sewage to be released into the UK’s oceans for several years.
Now we find out that Conservative MP’s voted to allow this practice to continue. It was not too long ago that I praised our Conservative MP for her campaign to eradicate cruelty to animals with her effort to stop Glue Traps. But this vote just creates misery for people, marine life and of course our rivers and canals. MP’s here have made a huge error and Wednesfield people will remember their support for this wrong decision to vote in this way. Environment Agency data has identified 24,700 sewage spills into England’s bathing waters in 2021 totalling more than 160,000 hours – the equivalent of 18 years.
The BBC were also reporting on Monday, that Southern Water was forced to apologise last week after beaches in East Sussex were closed due to untreated wastewater being released into the sea at the shoreline.
Pollution warnings were put in place across more than 40 beaches and swimming spots in England and Wales after heavy rain overwhelmed sewer systems.
Particular concern was raised over a handful of beaches that have bathing water status – including Littlehampton in West Sussex and Lee-on-Solent in Hampshire – where the Lib Dems said some Event Duration Monitoring (EDM) devices were not installed at all.
Across Devon and Cornwall, one in eight of South West Water’s sewage monitors installed at designated bathing locations were also either faulty or not installed, they said.
All of these areas are popular holiday destinations for Black Country folk, and I imagine holidaymakers here in Wednesfield and Wolverhampton are concerned as to what they may have been paddling in?
National and international news gatherers ITV, also puts Severn Trent Water company under the spotlight- They report that “The equivalent of 64 years’ worth of raw sewage was dumped into rivers and streams last year by Severn Trent Water, new figures have revealed. According to data released by the Environment Agency, the water company – which operates services across the Midlands, as well as the south west – released untreated waste into waterways on a total of 60,982 occasions.”
Charity The Rivers Trust called the figure “shocking”, and said “the volume of contaminated wastewater reaching the rivers “shows that our current approach and infrastructure, managing storm water in particular, needs a radical overhaul”.
ITV went onto say “Over the course of 2020, the figures show that the discharges from Severn Trent went on for 558,698 hours between them – equivalent to 23,279 days, or 64 years.
Water companies are permitted to release sewage into rivers to help prevent flooding when the system becomes overwhelmed, for example after periods of prolonged or heavy rain, in what are known as ’storm overflows’ (SOs). These are monitored by the Environment Agency, and the figures released each March.
But The Rivers Trust’s deputy technical director Michelle Walker said the amount of times the overflow system was being used should ring “alarm bells”.
Sadly, No Alarm bells rang for our MP Jane, and she went onto record her vote in Parliament that allows this system to continue. This is a stance that leaves me personally sad about. Wrong decision Jane Stevenson MP.Wrong decision.