After 3658 sewage dumps in our rivers, it's time for protected status

3 Jun 2024
Kniveton Sewage works

The Liberal Democrats are calling for protected status for rivers in Derbyshire Dales after sewage was dumped 3,658 times in 2023.

The Liberal Democrats have called for a new protected status for local rivers and marine protected areas, after shocking figures reveal that Severn Trent Water dumped sewage 3,658 times in Derbyshire Dales in 2023.

Analysis of official data from the Environment Agency by the party shows that Severn Trent Water discharged sewage in Derbyshire Dales’s waterways for a staggering 31,359 hours in 2023.

In an effort to tackle sewage dumping, the Liberal Democrats have announced a massive expansion of marine protected areas and a new Blue Flag status for rivers will be included in the party’s general election manifesto. The introduction of Blue Flag status would set legally binding targets to prevent sewage dumping in those sites, giving special protected status for swimmers and wildlife. 

Derbyshire Dales’s Liberal Democrats have led the way in campaigning against sewage dumping in the area. Nationally the party recently announced plans to abolish Ofwat, introducing a new regulator with greater powers, which follows its plans for a ban on water company executive bonuses.

Robert Court, Liberal Democrat candidate for Derbyshire Dales, said:

Derbyshire Dales’s precious rivers and brooks have been destroyed after years of a Conservative government letting water firms get away with environmental vandalism.

“It is time we got tough on polluting and profiteering water firms, yet Conservative MPs have stood by whilst swimmers have become ill and wildlife killed by sewage discharges. 

“This scandal has to end now. The Conservative party has failed to protect swimmers and wildlife. 

“The Liberal Democrats will have the boldest manifesto on cleaning up our rivers and coastlines. Families should be free to swim safely in the knowledge that our waters are not polluted with sewage.”


Notes to Editor: 

Liberal Democrat analysis of Environment Agency data of sewage discharges in bathing water sites can be found here.

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