Let's End Sewage Pollution Now

The Rivers Trust calls for MPs to vote to end sewage pollution

Rebecca Duncan


Today, in partnership with Surfers Against Sewage and the #EndSewagePollution Coalition, we are asking our politicians to stand up for rivers and bring an end to sewage pollution – and we want you to join us.

The #EndSewagePollution Coalition is comprised of a number of environmental NGOs from across the water sector and is pushing for a change to the practice of discharging raw sewage directly into waterways. Together, we have created a new campaign tool you can use to encourage your MP to support the Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill, a Private Members Bill put forward by Philip Dunne, Conservative MP for Ludlow and Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, which will be read in parliament on November 13th . If successful, the Bill will place a duty on water companies to ensure that untreated sewage is not discharged directly into rivers or coastal waters. Companies would also be required to set out plans to reduce their reliance on combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and to publicly report on the amount, condition, and quality of sewage discharged from CSOs or other sewer catchment assets. In addition, the new law would compel the government to investigate possible further steps to be taken by stakeholders such as the Environment Agency to improve water quality more generally. Using the new campaign webpage, you can generate a letter to your local MP highlighting the scale of sewage pollution in your area, as well as the overall health of local waterways. Crucially, the letter asks MPs to support the Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill in Parliament. All you need to do to create this letter is enter your postcode. Mark Lloyd, our CEO, said: “We want this Bill to kick off a well-informed national debate about the water quality of our rivers and how we can use nature-based solutions to restore every community’s water environment to good health. This will require not only higher levels of investment, but also far better data and governance at a river catchment scale so that we can achieve clear consensus about a collaborative, prioritised plan of action. Our “Is My River Fit to Swim In?” map, part of our Together For Rivers campaign, helps the public and MPs see one of our critical pollution issues at the constituency level.” After the #EndSewagePollution petition calling on the government to introduce new water quality legislation gained over 40,000 signatures, we are hoping our amazing supporters will help to gain MPs’ backing for the Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill before its second parliamentary reading on 13th November. Amy Slack, Head of Policy & Campaigns for Surfers Against Sewage, said: “Over 44,000 people have signed the petition to end sewage pollution into rivers and the ocean. Now we are starting to be heard. But we have to continue to shout loudly to make sure real change is made. We must demand our MPs pipe up for rivers and back this Bill. As constituents, they must listen to us and represent us in parliament. Together with The Rivers Trust, we’ve designed a new tool on behalf of the #EndSewagePollution coalition to make it easy for thousands of emails to be sent by supporters of numerous organisation to demand MP’s show up to support the Bill. Its time for MPs to stand up for our rivers.”

Add your voice to our campaign today to fight for a better future for oceans and rivers.

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