MPs reject amendment to clamp down on sewage-dumping water companies

MPs have voted against an amendment to the Environment Bill that would have legally compelled water companies to reduce their discharge of raw sewage into rivers and seas.

The bill, intended to revamp the UK’s environmental regulations post Brexit, currently allows raw sewage to be discharged into the country’s waterways.

Data from the Environment Agency shows that raw sewage was dumped into British waters over than 400,000 times in 2020

Conservative MP, Royston Smith, who voted down the amendment since told The Southern Daily Echo: “No one wants sewage into our rivers but you can’t change a system where most of it is still Victorian overnight. You only have to look at what Southern Water has done in Woolston to see how things are moving.

“Things like illegal sewage dumping, that’s a completely different thing but there does come a time when you have significant rain or flooding that the system won’t cope and it will overflow and outflow into the rivers sadly.”

Former Liberal Democrat leader and MP for West Morland and Lonsdale Tim Farron urged the government to crack down on the dumpings earlier this week: