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Pow tells Ofwat to reduce sewage overflows

In the new Strategic Policy Statement (SPS) for the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) released by the Government today, the Government will require Ofwat and by extension water companies to reduce the frequency and volume of sewage discharges during storm overflows.


The SPS also requires Ofwat to require evidence of the water companies plans for protecting the environment. As the regulator Ofwat sets out priorities for the water companies investment with 5-year cycles. The SPS sets out Ofwat’s strategic direction. The SPS has been laid before Parliament and will come into effect after 40 days if there is no objection.

“The priorities that we are setting out today build on the work that we have already undertaken to reduce harm from storm overflows, improve monitoring and reporting of pollution incidents making this more transparent, to tackle run-off from agriculture, and protect the health of our rivers and seas.”

Rebecca Pow, Minister for Nature Recovery and the Domestic Environment


This comes as stories of raw-sewage release have gained prevalence over the last year with Thames Water criticised after reporting a raw sewage release a day late over Christmas with some wild swimmers complaining of upset stomachs.


Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran said: “It is not OK, it’s disgusting. The stories I’ve heard of the illnesses that people get, they’re right to be worried and the communication isn’t good enough.


Chair of the House of Commons’ environmental audit committee, Philip Dunne blamed “creaking” infrastructure across the country and called on it to be improved.


He said water infrastructure spending was “not keeping pace with the development above ground.”

Eventbrite

Chamber is holding a Levelling-up the Conversation event with Rebecca Pow in Taunton on March 4th. Get your tickets here!

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