Dumping of sewage in rivers shames water companies, regulators and the Government - The Yorkshire Post says

The dumping of sewage in Yorkshire’s rivers represents a monumental failure of not only the private companies in charge of the network but of the Government and regulators.

Sometimes the numbers speak for themselves. It has been claimed that just two of the region’s rivers have had the equivalent of 419 Olympic swimming pools worth of raw sewage pumped into them.

This isn’t acceptable and the water companies, regulators and the Government should hang their heads in shame.

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Moreso, they should be treating the now long standing issue of sewage discharges as a crisis.

Water samples being collected from a river. PIC: James HardistyWater samples being collected from a river. PIC: James Hardisty
Water samples being collected from a river. PIC: James Hardisty

Why is it that areas are left reliant on citizen science to monitor the waterway? This should be the job of the Environment Agency. It is clear that stricter oversight is needed. Over the past few years it has become too lax. And this has happened under the watch of the Tory party.

Let’s not forget that it was former PM Liz Truss, in charge at Defra between 2014 and 2016, who was responsible for cutting millions of pounds of funding. It included a £24m cut from a government grant for environmental protection, including surveillance of water companies to prevent the dumping of raw sewage.

Both environmental and financial regulators, as Thames Water's struggles show, have failed the people they’re meant to protect.

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Ordinary people are now convinced, owing to inaction, that regulators are in hoc with the water companies that they are meant to keep in line.

Water companies are now pleading poverty, as they seek to increase bills. But those pleas are falling on deaf ears after years of excessive pay for bosses and generous shareholder payouts. This is a problem of their own making and the burden for fixing this crisis should be on the water companies.