The latest sewage discharge figures are down by 19% on 2021. However, this was due to the driest summer on record and not water firm action.
According to Environment Agency figures, spills dropped from 372,533 in 2021, to 301,091, in 2022.
The figures show the duration and frequency of sewage spills at 91% of combined storm overflows.
These are monitored, enabling paddlers to take an informed decision on where and when to paddle.
This information will be updated through the Rivers Trust sewage map which shows how many times your local combined sewer overflow has discharged.
All storm overflows will be monitored by the end of this year, giving a clear picture of the scale of the issue which impacts how and when we paddle.
John Leyland, the Environment Agency’s chief executive, said: “The decrease in spills in 2022 is largely down to dry weather, not water company action.
“We want to see quicker progress from water companies on reducing spills and acting on monitoring data.
“We expect them to be fully across the details of their networks and to maintain and invest in them to the high standard that the public expect and the regulator demands.”
Our community is outraged by the continued discharge of large amounts of raw sewage by water companies into the places we paddle, threatening our health.– Chantelle Grundy, Access and Environment Lead at British Canoeing
'Water Companies must take urgent action'
Chantelle Grundy, Access and Environment Lead, said: "Our community is outraged by the continued discharge of large amounts of raw sewage by water companies into the places we paddle, threatening our health.
“The latest figures continue to evidence the scale of the issue. Water Companies must take urgent action.
“We welcome the news that the government plans to introduce unlimited fines and penalties for water companies, who illegally discharge sewage into our waters.
“It would see the existing cap of £250,000 lifted and money put back into a Water Restoration Fund to improve water quality locally. This needs to happen urgently.”
British Canoeing welcomes the news of a ban on plastic wet wipes which is expected to come in next year after a consultation.
Not only do these pollute our waters with microplastics, they also cause havoc to the sewage systems, blocking pipes.
This is something British Canoeing has been demanding.
Kirsty Davies, from Surfers Against Sewage, will be speaking on 19th April at British Canoeing's club webinar. There will be opportunities to ask questions. To book on to the webinar click here.