83% increase in periods of sewage dumping by South West Water last year

28 Mar 2024
Will Aczel and Ayla by the River Exe

New figures released by the Environment Agency have shown South West Water discharged sewage for a staggering 530,737 hours last year, an 83% rise compared to 2022. Analysis of this data shows the firm dumped sewage at designated bathing water sites for over 58,000 hours in 2023.

These shocking stats come as sewage dumps have more than doubled across the UK: up from 1.75 million hours in 2022 to 3.6 million hours in 2023.

Will Aczel, Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Exeter, said:

“As a surfer and environmentalist, I find the government's weak and reckless approach to our environment outrageous.

"Rain is only going to get worse with global heating. It is no excuse for poor infrastructure planning and investment.

"Enough is enough. It’s time to call a national environmental emergency.

“The existing regulations clearly aren't working. Lib Dems demand tougher, legally binding targets on sewage discharges - especially for bathing waters. The government promised this last April but it's still nowhere to be seen. They need to get a grip.

“Lib Dems would further ban water company bonuses until the sewage discharges end; better fund the Environment Agency and Natural England; and, transform water companies into public benefit companies, with an environmental champion on the board of each one.

“I am also putting pressure on South West Water by petitioning them to publish all their live sewage discharges ahead of the Summer season. This would improve transparency, trust, and our enjoyment of the South West’s wondrous waterways.”

You can add pressure on South West Water by signing the petition: exeterlibdems.org.uk/swwm

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