Water companies to be quizzed over pollution

Tuesday 24th August 2021 1:29 pm
Share

Subscribe newsletter

Subscribe to our email and get updates right in your inbox.

A TASK group of county councillors say they will look to scrutinise water companies over the dumping of raw sewage into Gloucestershire rivers.

The group, which was set up following the local elections in May, recently held its first meeting, at which councillors pledged to carry out a series of actions to investigate the health of local rivers.

The inaugural meeting comes after recent protests about the state of the River Wye, which has been found to be in "ecological crisis" in recent years due to high levels of phosphate pollution.

Campaigners blame the degradation of the Wye, which they say is dying, on phosphates and nitrate run-off from chicken farms located on the banks of the river in Powys and Herefordshire, as well as damage from sewage that has been dumped into the river.

National figures suggest that raw sewage was discharged into English rivers more than 55,000 times in 2019.

Councillors are seeking to hold polluters to account and will investigate the extent of the problem, its impact on health and the damage it is causing to ecosystems.

The task group will look to scrutinise the activities of water companies, which were found to have discharged into English rivers for a combined 400,000 hours in 2019, and will challenge them to change their behaviour.

The group is also expected to develop an action plan to create designated bathing spots which are safe for the public to enjoy.

The motion to create a task group was put forward by Liberal Democrat councillors last September, and group leader Paul Hodgkinson has welcomed the latest development.

"I’m delighted that the county council has finally made good on its promise to get on with the job of cleaning our county’s rivers," Cllr Hodgkinson said.

"The inaugural meeting was a critical step to determine the direction this task group would take, and I’m pleased to see that my council colleagues are similarly ambitious in their hopes to hold polluters to account and clean our county’s rivers.

"In the coming weeks and months we’ll be bringing in water companies and expert witnesses to provide their account of why our rivers are choked by pollution, and creating an action plan to make our rivers safe for wildlife and our residents."

The inaugural meeting comes after recent protests about the state of the River Wye, which has been found to be in "ecological crisis" in recent years due to high levels of phosphate pollution.

Campaigners blame the degradation of the Wye, which they say is dying, on phosphates and nitrate run-off from chicken farms located on the banks of the river in Powys and Herefordshire, as well as damage from sewage that has been dumped into the river.

National figures suggest that raw sewage was discharged into English rivers more than 55,000 times in 2019.

Councillors are seeking to hold polluters to account and will investigate the extent of the problem, its impact on health and the damage it is causing to ecosystems.

The task group will look to scrutinise the activities of water companies, which were found to have discharged into English rivers for a combined 400,000 hours in 2019, and will challenge them to change their behaviour.

The group is also expected to develop an action plan to create designated bathing spots which are safe for the public to enjoy.

The motion to create a task group was put forward by Liberal Democrat councillors last September, and group leader Paul Hodgkinson has welcomed the latest development.

"I’m delighted that the county council has finally made good on its promise to get on with the job of cleaning our county’s rivers," Cllr Hodgkinson said.

"The inaugural meeting was a critical step to determine the direction this task group would take, and I’m pleased to see that my council colleagues are similarly ambitious in their hopes to hold polluters to account and clean our county’s rivers.

"In the coming weeks and months we’ll be bringing in water companies and expert witnesses to provide their account of why our rivers are choked by pollution, and creating an action plan to make our rivers safe for wildlife and our residents."

More About:

Share

Comments

To leave a comment you need to create an account. |

All comments 0