Did you know
The UK is ranked just 25th out of 30 EU countries for coastal water quality. And only 16% of waterways meet good ecological status.
A good water quality for our rivers and lakes is vital. But in 2019 alone, raw sewage was discharged into UK rivers over 200,000 times. This threatens the health of those who love to paddle and swim as well the natural environment. It reduces biodiversity and damages delicate ecosystems.
In Autumn 2020, over 44,000 people signed a petition calling on government to introduce world leading water quality legislation. The chance to #EndSewagePollution is now.
How can I help support better water quality?
Really easily! Contact your MP and ask them to support the Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill. Parliament will debate the Bill later this year. The Bill will make sure water companies stop sewage discharges into rivers, lakes and waterways in England.
The campaign for better water quality is being led by ocean conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage. They have represented the voices of tens of thousands of supporters from multiple organisations. These include: The Rivers Trust and British Canoeing.
Wildlife & Countryside Link have worked closely with the Senior Conservative MP and Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Philip Dunne, to draft The Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill. Contact your MP to ask them to support the Bill here.
The Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill
The Bill will place a duty on water companies to ensure untreated sewage is no longer discharged into England’s inland waters.
It will require water companies to set out plans to progressively reduce their reliance on combined sewer overflows (CSOs). It will also ensure an increased level of transparency.
The proposed new law will also require the Government to investigate further steps that can be taken by stakeholders to improve water quality. This could include designating at least two inland bathing waters every year.
The Bill is a Private Members’ Bill. This means it has been introduced by an MP who is not a government minister. Only a minority of Private Members’ bills make it to becoming a law. However by creating publicity around an issue and gaining support from a lot of MPs, they can put pressure on government to take action.
It’s vital then that we get as many MP’s as possible to support the Bill.