Further to our blog published on the 17 November about the Environment Act, British Canoeing has welcomed the announcement by the Environment Agency and OFWAT that a major investigation into sewage treatment works is to be launched.
A press release by Defra said that the prospect of new checks led water companies to admit that they could be releasing unpermitted sewage discharges into rivers and watercourses.
The investigation will involve more than 2,000 sewage treatment works, with any company caught breaching their legal permits facing enforcement action, including fines or prosecutions. Fines can be unlimited in criminal proceedings.
Chantelle Grundy, Access and Environment Officer said:
“Paddlers, Anglers, Swimmers and a whole host of NGOs have all been calling out this issue for some time, whilst also pushing hard for action in the Environment Bill. We’re pleased to see this action finally being taken by the Environment Agency and Ofwat.
“In our evidence to the EAC Committee earlier this year, we called for the EA and Ofwat to use their existing powers to get a firmer grip on the unlawful dumping of sewage into our rivers. Hopefully this is the first step towards cleaning up our waters for nature and for people”
Working with the #EndSewagePollution Coalition, British Canoeing has been calling on the Government to step up its efforts to stop raw sewage being released into our waters. The Environment Act received Royal Ascent just days ago and contained new powers to tackle this problem.
We will continue to champion the interests of all water users through our Clear Access Clear Waters Campaign.