SEWAGE in Warwick and Leamington’s waterways has become a major problem says MP Matt Western.
Sewage was dumped into waterways 800 times a day across England over the last year according to data from the Environment Agency.
And Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western said the number of hours sewage was released into local waterways had doubled to 1,350.
Severn Trent, which provides water services locally, was found to have allowed nearly 60,000 separate monitored spills of raw sewage into the region’s waters in 2021, which lasted for a total of over 450,000 hours – equivalent to more than 50 years.
Severn Trent was fined £1.5million in 2021 after it was found to have illegally discharged 360,000 litres of raw sewage into a brook in Worcestershire.
Mr Western wrote to Severn Trent’s chief executive in September demanding answers on how the firm planned to tackle the damage caused by its sewage dumps.
The Labour MP told The Observer: “The level of sewage we’re seeing dumped in our waterways is terrible. We have beautiful countryside across the country and the fact that companies are being allowed to get away with polluting it is atrocious.
“Ten years ago there were hardly any discharges into our rivers. The Conservatives keep backtracking on their commitment to clean up our waterways and fine the companies dumping sewage into them.
“They’ve had 13 years to sort out this mess. It’s clear they can’t. Labour has a clear and costed plan to clean up our waterways and make the companies behind the pollution pay up.”
A spokesperson for Severn Trent said the company was working to improve the health of the region’s rivers and had reduced the impact from its operations by one third in the last year, as well as completing the installation of 100 per cent monitor coverage of storm overflows across the region.
“Our hardworking teams continue to deliver strong results, with the goal of helping to make the region’s rivers the healthiest they can be – both through redoubling our own efforts and investment and supporting others to also reduce their impact.
“However, we’re not complacent, and we know there’s a lot more to do. Severn Trent operations currently account for 13 per cent of the reasons why rivers aren’t achieving good ecological status across Coventry and Warwickshire with 87 per cent attributable to other sectors – we know that is still far too high – and we’re focused on reducing our impact further and down to zero by 2030.”