‘Careless’ water companies leave dirty rivers unchecked – here’s how


Sewer monitors installed to keep rivers clean don’t work more than 90% of the time, analysis shows.

This means that “negligent” water companies allow sewage to be dumped into rivers unchecked in a quarter of places.

Analysis of Environment Agency data shows that hundreds of monitors installed to track sewage discharges are not working most of the time.

The government and water companies have pledged to install technology to track untreated sewage flowing into rivers and the sea, with Defra promising that all 15,000 outlets will have monitors by the end of the year. next year.

However, analysis has shown that many of those already installed do not work properly, with one in four locations either without a monitor or without a monitor working more than 10% of the time.

Non-existent monitors

Almost half of Anglian Water’s storm overflows had faulty or non-existent monitors, with one in three sites operated by South West Water and Severn Trent also unmonitored due to failure or lack of installation.

Of 12,224 storm outbursts, 1,430 had non-working monitors, while another 1,689 had no monitor.

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrats’ rural affairs spokesman, who carried out the analysis, accused the companies of “gross negligence” and said: “The chilling reality is that we have no idea how much our coasts, our rivers and our lakes are dirty.

“Our bathing places should be cleaned up using the multi-billion pound profits from these water companies, and the government should tell them to install monitors before the summer holidays.”


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