To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress her Department has made on reducing sewage discharges.
In August 2022 HM Government published the Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan, requiring water companies to deliver their largest ever infrastructure investment - £56 billion capital investment over 25 years. £3.1 billion will be invested in storm overflow improvements between 2020 and 2025 (approximately 800 improvements). Water companies have already completed 43 storm overflow improvements schemes as part of their plans for the 2020-25 Price review period, and this will increase to almost 450 improvements by the end of next year.
In February 2023 I asked water and sewerage companies to set an action plan on every storm overflow in England, prioritising those that are spilling more than a certain number of times a year, and those spilling into bathing waters and high priority nature sites. I have also announced water companies will face higher penalties that are quicker and easier to enforce.