Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'Crisis' Awaits as Rivers Ravaged by Raw Sewage; Pollution a Major Risk to Human Health and Ecosystem

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

'Crisis' Awaits as Rivers Ravaged by Raw Sewage; Pollution a Major Risk to Human Health and Ecosystem

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Kelly Reporter mike.kelly@ncjmedia.co.uk @MIKEJKELLY1962

AROUND 40% of rivers in England including many in the North East are being polluted with raw sewage which is contributing to an 'urgent environmental crisis', according to a report.

If more action isn't taken it is claimed there will be no healthy rivers left in England and Wales within a decade, putting people and wildlife at risk.

It follows a nine-month investigation by conservation charity WWF, which said there are 17,684 licensed emergency sewer overflows managed by water companies across England and Wales that are meant to discharge raw sewage directly into the environment only during extreme rainfall.

But WWF has found they are discharging far more frequently, detailing 1,902 pollution incidents reported by the nine water and sewerage companies operating in England alone, a first rise in such incidents since 2012.

In this region, according to the report, there were 38 sewage pollution incidents per 10,000km of sewers last year in the Northumbrian Water area.

This was the third-highest figure in the country behind South West Water, with 115, and Yorkshire Water, with 46.

But there was better news in analysis of waste water pollution, that includes sewage discharge, which was found in 17% of rivers in the Northumbrian Water area, with only Welsh Water having a lower figure of 15%.

Catherine Moncrieff, freshwater policy and programme manager at WWF, said: "While there has been a lot of investment by water companies it hasn't been enough to keep pace with growing pollution and with more extreme weather events the sewage system it is at breaking point and isn't able to meet demand."

But Richard Warneford, Northumbrian Water's wastewater director, vigorously defended its record.

He said: "Over the past 20 years we have invested more than PS1 billion in our sewer network, reducing the risk of pollution to our water courses and the risk of flooding to our customers. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.