Cleaning up Rivers by Stopping Sewage Dumping

Water companies pumped sewage into our rivers, lakes and seas more than 300,000 times over the last three years, lasting over 7.5 million hours. Amongst these Severn Trent Water and Thames Water pumped raw sewage into local rivers, including the Rivers Sowe, Avon and Leam, as well as many brooks across Kenilworth & Southam, for a total duration of 8,245 hours in 2022.

Over a three-year period, water company executives in England, Wales and Scotland have paid themselves £76 million, including £42 million in bonuses, benefits and incentives. Horrifyingly, a recent report found a staggering 1,924 cases of people getting sick due to suspected sewage pollution over the last year, nearly triple the number of cases reporting in the previous year.

It's high time water companies took these issues seriously and the Government started dealing with this issue properly.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for water firms to become “Public Good Companies” and will oblige them to sit environmental experts on their company boards to prioritise environmental goals over economic profits. We want to introduce a sewage tax on the £2.2 billion annual profits of water companies and a ban on water company executive bonuses.

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron recently tabled an amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill, which would have allowed anyone who gets sick as a result of illegal sewage dumping to claim compensation from water companies. However, MPs in the Commons, including Jeremy Wright, voted it down.

Jenny Wilkinson has said:

“Our local waterways are being pumped full of disgusting raw sewage, while the water companies hand themselves insulting pay-outs. The whole thing stinks. It’s time water companies were made to pay up to clean up. They’ve been allowed to get away with sewage dumping for years with almost no consequences. When will the Conservative Government finally get tough on these polluting and profiteering firms?”   

Sewage Tanks Discharging into a stream