Posts Tagged ‘Sewage’

‘Dirty secret’: insiders say UK water firms knowingly break sewage laws

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Whistleblowers say UK water companies are knowingly failing to treat legally required amounts of sewage, and that some treatment works are manipulating wastewater systems to divert raw sewage away from the works and into rivers and seas.

It is well known that water companies are dumping large volumes of raw sewage into rivers and seas from storm overflows but an investigation by the Guardian and Watershed Investigations reveals that the industry’s “dirty secret” is bigger, broader and deeply systemic.

By law, every wastewater treatment works must treat a minimum amount of sewage as stipulated in their environmental permits. Four whistleblowers have told Watershed that a large proportion regularly fail to do so and are not reporting it to the environmental regulator.

Government slammed over sewage pollution

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Watershed appeared on BBC News to discuss fresh reports that water companies appear to be dumping raw sewage into rivers in breach of their permits. Separately, Watershed was also asked to explain to BBC News viewers why the Office for Environmental Protection has announced that Defra, the Environment Agency and Ofwat may have all failed to comply with the law over their regulation of sewage pollution.

Sewage spills blamed as E coli forces Cornish shellfish sites to close

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Watershed worked with the Guardian and ITV News to expose high levels of E coli in oysters around the country. “Very high” levels of E coli found in oysters and mussels have led to the closure of 11 shellfish production zones in Cornwall. In an email seen by Watershed Investigations, the Cornwall Port Health Authority told food business operators they “must not collect the affected animals from this area”.

Watershed - Investigative Journalism