The scandalous sewage situation of the North East
It has been reported that natural beauty areas have been affected by raw sewage discharge.
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Shocking figures have been revealed that Northumbrian Water discharges raw sewage every 23 minutes.
Areas that have been affected the most include popular tourist destinations and bathing spots such as rivers, lakes and beaches. Not only does this spoil areas of natural beauty but it also poses a risk to public health.
The analysis obtained under the Freedom of Information request to the Environment Agency displayed that since 2017, raw sewage has been pumped into the North East’s natural environment, totalling 551,851 hours or 22,993 days.
It has been reported that it is due to 12 years of Tory failure to hold water bosses to account. It is also a consequence of the two-thirds budgetary cut to the Environment Agency grant, which covers environmental surveillance and enforcement.
The data within the report also points to a 4,309% increase in monitored discharge hours, between 2017 and 2022 - which highlights the situation is drastically getting worse. The full scale of the pollution is likely to be even greater, given that Event Duration Monitoring does not cover every permitted storm overflow.
Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central, said: “It is absolutely unacceptable that the Government has allowed Northumbrian Water to average a sewage spill every 23 mins into our beautiful coastline and rivers.
“My constituents in Newcastle are trying to enjoy the summertime, all whilst the Tories have allowed water companies to cut corners and pump filthy raw sewage into the North East’s waters. I regularly swim in the North Sea and know just how distressing the idea of swimming in sewage is for my constituents!
“Labour will end this disgraceful practice by ensuring there can be enforcement of unlimited fines, holding water company bosses legally and financially accountable for their negligence, and by toughening up regulations that currently allow the system to be abused.”
The Tory government had previously shelved sewage discharge reduction plans at the beginning of August, but has since u-turned due to the mounting public pressure.