.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Tory sewage shame

Fpr some reason Conservative MPs have been taken by surprise by the reaction to them voting down a Lords amendment to the Environment Bill seeking to place a legal duty on water companies not to discharge sewage into our waterways.

Of course if the amendment had actually said that then one could understand MPs' protestations of innocence centred around cost and practicality, but the Lords were more subtle and realistic than the story being spun by Tory Central Office. 

The amendment actually called on water companies to make improvements to their sewerage systems and demonstrate progressive reductions in the harm caused by discharges of untreated sewage, a reasonable and achievable objective.

The reason for this amendment is obvious, but just in case the Tories have missed it, the Mirror sets out the facts in stark detail

They say that last year, water companies around the country allowed more than 400,000 sewage discharges into streams, rivers and the sea, lasting three million hours. That was compared to 293,000 hours of discharges in 2019:

Britain’s combined sewer system, dating back to the Victorian era, collects rainwater and waste in the same pipes, meaning it overflows in times of heavy rain.

Under a 2012 European court ruling, water firms can release rainwater and untreated sewage into waterways in “exceptional” circumstances to stop waste backing up in streets and homes. But environmentalists say better infrastructure, such as storage tanks, could prevent this.

Campaigners warn Lake Windermere could become “ecologically dead” because of sewage.

A plant in Ambleside let raw sewage flow into the lake for 1,719 hours in 2020.

Paul de Zylva, from Friends of the Earth, said: “Pumping sewage into our rivers and seas by water companies has become a regular cause of pollution. What is meant to be an exceptional act is routine.”

Hugo Tagholm, of Surfers Against Sewage said: “Our coastlines are struggling.” The Rivers Trust warns that 86% of England’s rivers are in “failing health”. Just one stretch of English river, the Wharfe at Ilkley, Yorkshire, has bathing water status, compared to 420 in France.

"In England, just 14% of rivers have good ecological status and none have good chemical status."

Welsh rivers are also suffering from this abuse, as evidenced by ths interactive map, a fact that did not prevent ten Welsh Conservative MPs voting against the amendment. Let's hope that they do better when the reworded clause comes back to the House of Commons.

Eleven years the Conservatives have been able to do something about it.Over 100 yrs without upgrading is irresponsible.Brexit is an EXCUSE cos the companies can buy the chemical via other means. What were MPs thinking of cos this affects their constituencies.Were they just blindly voting for what Johnson wants?I also notice the Daily Fail(oops Mail) has maps on the issue.Are they going to have a campaign saying they got the govnt to change the rules? The obsession with shareholders and profit should act with the responsibility for the system?
I guess we will be hearing more about this mess.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?