After a public outcry, the Tories are realising that effluent-dumping water companies need more than a ticking off
The groundswell of disgust over water firms dumping raw human sewage into England’s rivers and seas has grown into a roiling tsunami threatening to overwhelm the government. By their own confession, water companies say they dumped untreated sewage into English water bodies more than 400,000 times last year, for a total of about 3.1m hours.
As shocking as that seems, you can safely assume this figure grossly underplays the true picture because not all sewage discharges are recorded, and because the sector is allowed to self-report its spills, a practice that begs to be abused.
Rachel Salvidge is an environmental journalist and deputy editor of the ENDS Report