Press Statement: Response to BBC investigation on water company reporting of sewage pollution incidents

Our response to the BBC investigation on water company reporting of sewage pollution incidents.

Matthew Woodard


Our response to today's BBC news article and corresponding Panorama episode suggesting that water companies can downgrade the severity of pollution events:

"This investigation confirms that self-regulation does not work. We really need the government to get a grip of this, by providing sufficient funding and direction to regulators and a clear message to water companies and other polluters about what is expected of them. At a time when not one river in England is in good overall health, our pitiful three designated river bathing sites are all of poor standard and toxic levels of chemicals have been found in our fish, any pollution affecting rivers must be taken seriously. To hear that these incidents may have been erroneously downgraded is extremely concerning.

"Rivers are at the frontline of both the climate crisis and catastrophic biodiversity loss, lurching from one extreme to another in an endless cycle of floods and drought. People are rightly demanding that we restore our water bodies to a state of good health and resilience. River Trusts contribute a lot to that process with practical projects on the ground, and it is imperative that the government and regulators fulfil their responsibilities by ensuring compliance with the law."

Tessa Wardley, Director of Communications & Advocacy

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