Sewage: Water Treatment

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 12th September 2014.

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Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller Conservative, Basingstoke

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she has taken to ensure that the best available technology is used to reduce phosphate discharges into rivers at sewage treatment works in England.

Photo of Dan Rogerson Dan Rogerson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Environment Agency sets permit limits for sewage works discharges to meet the Environmental Quality Standards required by the Water Framework Directive, as set out in supporting Directions from the Secretary of State. This includes the standards for phosphorus.

There has been considerable investment by water companies in phosphorus removal across the country. In order to meet the new standards, water companies propose further programmes of innovation in their business plans for 2015 to 2020, to optimise the performance of these plants and also to trial novel techniques. This will inform their investment decisions on the appropriate technology to achieve the Environmental Quality Standards.

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