Rivers: Sewage

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 3rd December 2021.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the financial impact on riverside SMEs of local sewage pollution.

Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Labour/Co-operative, Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the financial impact on small and local business of rivers, lakes and seas being unswimmable as a result of sewage pollution.

Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential financial impact to small and local business based near beaches and rivers of days rendered unswimmable as a result of sewage pollution.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government has not made an assessment of the impact on riverside SMEs of local sewage pollution.

However, the Government has been clear that the water industry’s levels of sewage discharges from storm overflows are unacceptable and has made tackling this a priority. We are the first Government to take concerted action to tackle this historic infrastructure issue, including through the Environment Act. The provisions in the Environment Act place a duty on the water industry to achieve a progressive reduction in the adverse impacts caused by storm overflows. These include adverse impacts on public health.

The Government will publish a report before 1 September 2022 on the actions necessary, including the costs and benefits of the elimination of storm overflows. The report will consider a range of benefits, including those to business.

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