Sewage in rivers. One thing you can do now!

UPDATE: the bill has been delayed until 15 January 2021. Plenty of time to write to you MP!

There has been a great deal in the media recently about the poor quality of the water in our rivers, and in particular the discharge of untreated sewage from Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs).

You can find out more about the various campaigns and petitions on our water quality blog.

One thing you can do now is to email your MP and ask them to support the private members bill, Sewage (Inland Waters), which has been proposed by Phillip Dunne and will be debated in parliament on 15 January (delayed fron13 November). More details on the bill are below. 

You can find your MP’s contact details by entering your postcode on the on the UK Parliament website. Or use the Surfers Against Sewage website to find your MP and a pro-forma email. 

The Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill places a duty on water companies to ensure that untreated sewage is not discharged into rivers and other inland waters. The Bill will require water companies to set out plans progressively to reduce their reliance on combined sewer overflows (CSOs). It proposes increasing levels of transparency, as firms will be mandated to report publicly not just on the frequency and extent of sewage discharges from CSOs and any other sewer catchment assets, but also on the impact on water quality as this is enabled by advances in technology.

The Bill also proposes measures to upgrade drainage infrastructure to separate household sewage from surface water drainage, helping reduce the risk of overspills. It includes measures to reduce harmful products such as non-biodegradable wet wipes, commercial fats and oils from being disposed down the drains. It also proposes measures to expand the number of inland bathing waters and establish targets to increase those classified as good” or excellent”.

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