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The public is outraged after data shows that water companies in England released raw sewage into the English rivers 372,533 times last year.

Source: Al Jazeera English/Youtube

According to data released by the Environment Agency (EA), English eater companies released untreated sewage for more than 2.7m hours, compared to 3.1m hours in 2020. The government announced what they called the largest overhaul of the sewage system since the 1990s to attack the sewage discharge problem.

The new government plan, Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan, aims to stop 40 percent of untreated sewage from being released by 2040. Oof, 18 more years of raw sewage Pollution? The government has made it clear that the discharges are unacceptable. Still, evidence from the last three years has shown that water companies are using the overflows to discharge untreated sewage instead of treating it.

Untreated sewage and rainwater are only supposed to be released into rivers and coastal waters through storm overflow pipes and only when there is extreme weather and pressure needs to be relieved in the sewerage system.

Many, rightfully so, are upset with the lack of urgency the government seems to be putting on the matter.

Mark Lloyd, the chief executive of the Rivers Trust, said, “I’m disappointed that this plan lacks the urgency we so desperately need. This plan is going to need strong input from civil society and NGOs like the Rivers Trust if it is going to outpace the twinned climate and nature crises we are currently facing. We want to have rivers where people and wildlife can thrive, but the target timelines in the plan are far too slow – I want to see this in my lifetime!”

Source: Guardian News/Youtube

The data showed that ten water companies are releasing raw sewage into waterways for literally hundreds of thousands of hours in 2021. More than 60 discharges of raw sewage a year are considered too high and a risk to public health. The water companies admitted that they ‘may have’ illegally released untreated wastewater, and the subsequent investigation will involve more than 2,200 sewage treatment works. Any company that has broken the law will face fines or prosecutions.

Richard Benwell, the chief executive of the Wildlife and Countryside Link, said, “These figures show another year of our waterways being choked by sewage Pollution. This must change, for our own health as well as that of plants and animals struggling to survive in our polluted waters.”

Water pollution is a problem all over the world, and often it seems very low on government’s to-do lists. After years of public outrage, the United States appears to be working towards cleaning the waters finally. President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill includes funding for issues like water Pollution control efforts. The EPA has also agreed to work with state, local, and Tribal partners to implement $43 billion in water infrastructure funding. We hope that the public’s rage will encourage England to solve this problem sooner than later and set a closer target goal year for the environment, animals, and public health! Sign this petition to stop industrial industries from dumping harmful toxic chemicals into our waterways!

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