Government makes U-bend U-turn

Last night, following a landslide vote in the House of Lords to legally oblige water companies to take action to stop pumping sewage into the environment, the Government shifted course and announced that it would enshrine into law a duty on water companies to progressively reduce adverse impacts of sewage discharges.

This is huge step forward in our mission to #EndSewagePollution. Water companies must be legally forced to act and the Government now appears to have been forced to move in the right direction. Are we seeing a u-bend u-turn?

We are yet to see the full details and its vital that the measures announced by the government put a legal duty on water companies to drastically reduce sewage discharges into our precious rivers and coastal waters. We hope that the Government amendment to the Environment Bill reflects that which has been put forward by the Duke of Wellington and supported emphatically by his fellow Peers.

This issue is back in the House of Commons this week and we urge MP’s to support enshrining an end to sewage pollution in law.

Hugo Tagholm, CEO of Surfers Against Sewage says:

“Over the past week, Ocean Activists across the country have raised their voices to declare that the continued destruction of our rivers and coastline is not an option. A huge thank you to everyone who has spoken out and forced the government to realise that we won’t accept the status quo of polluted water and profiteering water companies any longer. People power can force positive change.

“We look forward to scrutinising the government’s new proposals to make sure they will legally oblige water companies to invest to end sewage pollution – anything less will be unacceptable to the millions across the country demanding the protection of our precious blue spaces.

“We welcome the Environment Bill’s amendments on data, reports and presenting plans for improvement, but the crucial piece of the puzzle is the legal driver for water companies to act. The devil is in the detail and we demand an Environment Bill which seeks to end sewage pollution.

“After decades of raking in billions in profit, the water industry must now plough investment into protecting and restoring our amazing rivers and coastline. This landmark Bill must ensure that happens.”

A MASSIVE thankyou to everyone who has joined us on our end sewage pollution journey. We cannot and must not back down now. Together, we will keep holding polluters to account and calling on our elected leaders to stand up for the Environment.



*Huge thanks to the 20 organisations forming the #EndSewagePollution Coalition for the collective work to drive this campaign, particularly The Rivers Trust, Angling Trust, and Salmon and Trout Conservation.