Raw sewage dumped in Wallasey water ways over 600 times in a year

It has been revealed that last year the Conservatives allowed over 147 days’ worth of raw sewage to be dumped into Wallasey’s water ways.

Analysis of Environment Agency data shows that in 2022, raw sewage was discharged in Wallasey for 3547 hours – the equivalent of a continuous flow running for almost 5 months of the year.

Raw sewage was dumped in Wallasey 666 times last year, roughly once every 13 hours, a damning indictment of the Tory’s willingness to turn a blind eye to sewage polluting the places people live, work and holiday.

The data comes after Labour analysis found that a new sewage dumping event has taken place on average every two-and-a-half minutes nationally since 2016 with rivers, lakes, seas, and facing a staggering 1,276 years’ worth of raw sewage over just a seven-year period.

United Utilities, responsible for supplying water across the North West, was accountable for the highest quantity of untreated raw sewage discharged last year, as a fifth of all spills nationally happened under their watch with 425,491 hours’ worth of sewage dumped.

In the same year, the company paid out dividends of £296 million after operating profits of £610 million – shocking given their failure to act on this growing crisis. By the end of last year, sewage discharges had more than doubled from 14.7 per overflow in 2016 to 35.4 in 2019.

This coincided with current Environment Secretary Therese Coffey’s decision to cut funding for environmental protection, during her tenure as Water Minister. The Secretary of State has broken her Government’s own statutory deadline for publishing water quality targets; announced a 36-year delay to cleaning-up waterways; told Parliament that meeting polluting water bosses wasn’t her priority and been heavily criticised for announcing a storm overflow reduction plan containing no reduction measures.

During the passage of the Environment Bill, Conservative MPs voted to allow water firms to continue sewage dumping, blocking a Labour-backed amendment that would have progressively eliminated sewage dumping – saving Wallasey’s water from the pollution it is currently filled with.

A future Labour Government would implement measures that would force water companies to clean up their act and progressively end sewage dumping – putting a stop to water companies treating our natural environment as an open sewer and an end to the Tories’ sewage scandal.

Jim McMahon, Shadow Environment Secretary said, “That the Tories have allowed villages, towns, and cities across the country to be treated as open sewers shows that they have no respect for places where people live, work and holiday.

“Communities in Wallasey should be able to just enjoy the place where they live without having to worrying about encountering filthy raw sewage.

“The next Labour Government will end the Tory sewage scandal, delivering mandatory monitoring on all sewage outlets, introducing automatic fines for discharges, setting ambitious targets for stopping systematic sewage dumping and ensuring that water bosses are held to account for negligence.”

Wallasey MP Angela Eagle said, “The latest data brings to the surface the shocking quantity of raw sewage being dumped into Wallasey’s waters This is a crisis of this Government’s own making – sewage flowed into Wallasey’s water for over 950 more hours last year than in 2021.

|”Labour’s amendment to the Environment Bill would’ve put a stop to this, but the Tories failed to support it – instead burying their heads in the sand as our beaches, lakes and rivers are filled with waste.

“United Utilities needs to clean up their act – if they can pay out £296 million to shareholders and execs, they can afford to take action to stop the flow of sewage into our water.

“Labour has a plan to end this Tory sewage scandal and to hold those responsible to account, ensuring beaches like New Brighton are clean for families to enjoy, and our waterways safe for natural life to thrive.”

Image: Stock image for illustrative purposes

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