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Swimming spots hit by 160,000 hours of sewage dumps, Lib Dem research reveals

Swimming spots hit by 160,000 hours of sewage dumps, Lib Dem research reveals
Liberal Democrats have called for a sewage tax on water companies’ profits to clean up coastlines, rivers and lakes

Water companies dumped sewage in public swimming spots for more than 160,000 hours last year, research released by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

Data from the Environment Agency showed that 25,000 sewage releases took place in coastline bathing spots in areas popular with families and holidaymakers, such as Scarborough South Bay in Yorkshire and Clevedon Beach in Somerset.

The research comes after water companies admitted to discharging raw sewage into England’s rivers, estuaries and seas around 1,000 times a day during the last year.

The government has been trying to clamp down on spills due to their potentially harmful impact on the country’s ecosystems and has launched a new consultation on sewage spill proposals.

Just last week environmental campaigners, organised by Surfers Against Sewage, marched in areas such as Newquay and Worthing to protest the worsening state of Britain’s waterways.

Data released by the Environment Agency in 2020 showed that every river in England is polluted and only one in seven of them meet a “good” ecological standard.

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said water companies were “making billions in profits” while the UK’s rivers and lakes are pumped full of sewage and called for a sewage tax on water companies profits in order to clean up seas, 河流, and coastlines in the country.

在 2020-21, water companies made £2.8bn in operating profit and paid out £27m bonuses to senior executives.

Last week the Liberal Democrats proposed a new Sewage Discharge Bill in the House of Commons which would have named and shamed water companies who were found to have poisoned animals with sewage dumps, but the idea was blocked by the government.

Mr Farron said: “It is now or never to save families from swimming in sewage infested waters this summer.

“Children should be free to enjoy Britain’s great coastlines and lakes yet Conservative ministers are letting water companies get away with shameful sewage dumps. This is an environmental scandal.

“The whole thing stinks. Water companies are making billions in profits whilst our rivers and lakes get pumped full of sewage.

“This week voters can send the Conservative government a message to finally get tough on water companies. Every vote for the Liberal Democrats puts more pressure on the government to stop this sewage scandal.”