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Molly Pollock explores the extent of threats to Britain’s beaches and drinking water.

Last week, the UK parliament (by the House of Lords) voted against an amendment to the environmental law that could prevent water companies in England and Wales from pumping sewage into rivers by giving them a legal mandate. The amendment will also force water companies and the Government to ‘take all reasonable steps’ to avoid using combined sewer overflows and thereby polluting rivers and seas.

The vote, in which Environment Secretary George Eustice instructed Tory lawmakers to vote against the change (some reportedly threatened to forfeit money for their constituencies if they didn’t comply), was won by the government, with a mutiny of 22 brave Conservative lawmakers. and the Labor Party, Liberal Democrats and other opposition parties* also voted against the government, resulting in a massive backlash on social media and criticism from opposition lawmakers. People are voicing their anger at laws that allow companies to continue dumping raw sewage into rivers and seas. Blue Flag beaches, a bonus of EU membership, and environmental policies are under threat.

*SNP MPs abstained as they did not vote on issues that concern only the UK.

Figures collected by the Rivers Trust show that not all rivers in England currently pass sanitation tests, with 53 per cent of them failing at least in part because water companies dump sewage into them. NS Rivers Trust website ‘England and Wales has a map of where the sewerage network discharges treated wastewater and untreated wastewater and stormwater overflows into rivers. It includes people’s advice to ‘Avoid entering water just downstream of these discharges and avoid overflows’.NS (brown circles), especially after it rains.’

According to GuardianIn 2020, it was discharged into raw sewers 403,171 times over a total of over 3.1 million hours in the UK. Sewage pollution is a key component of what lawmakers have heard is a chemical cocktail of pollutants entering rivers.

sewage, according Bloombergis an increasing problem due to climate change.

Wastewater enters British rivers and waterways through storm surges designed for use in extreme weather conditions to prevent sewers from overloading. More extreme weather conditions increased rainfall and the water infrastructure could not keep up.’


While sewage discharges have continued for decades due to extreme adverse weather conditions (including Scotland), Brexit has exacerbated a situation that, according to many loud people, has been caused by decades of underinvestment in infrastructure by privatized water companies.

In England, unlike Scotland, water companies were privatized decades ago. In March 1994, Strathclyde District Council administered a residents’ referendum by mail. partnerA referendum was held in the UK on whether control of water and sewer services should be privatised. Seven out of ten voters returned the papers, of whom 97% voted against privatization, 1.2 million. Thus, water in Scotland remained under public control.

According to Water UK, the problem caused by Brexit is the interruption in the supply of ferric sulfate due to the lack of HGV drivers to deliver the chemical. Water UK said the issue would not affect drinking water. Yet on Twitter, people reported that in some postcode areas people were told not to drink water.

As for the position in Scotland, The BBC reported Figures from Scottish Water show when sewage should be stopped, with sewage going into homes, storm water and waste normally going to Scotland, showing a total of 12,725 “spills” last year. Sewer overflow across the country. Although that’s a lot, that’s a fraction of the 403,171 in the UK. While a lot of blame has been placed on water companies for the lack of investment in infrastructure, Scottish Water has warned that the problem will not be solved by building larger sewers. Other issues belong to the public.

Scottish water – https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/Your-Home/Your-Waste-Water/Sewage-Pollution/What-is-Sewage-Pollution

People on Twitter brought up the fact that with Brexit the EU has clean water initiatives. no longer need to be obeyed. Many remember the pre-EU era when they were kids when there were polluted beaches, seas and rivers that were unpleasant and unsafe to swim in due to wastewater, and now, just over a week before COP26, we are free again. [in England] pollute.

Access to clean drinking water has long been seen as a third world problem, but now the UK may be facing its own problems.

According to article in Blomberg: ‘The Environment Agency has issued a regulatory waiver for companies to discharge waste without meeting the usual requirements in their permits. If supplies are low, they must use chemicals to treat the most polluting discharge. The waiver will remain in effect until the end of the year.’

Can we get this, if water companies lack the necessary chemicals then they have to process the worst dirty sewage and dump the rest. Thus, unlike Scottish Water, whose discharges are caused by factors other than a lack of chemicals such as extreme weather conditions and other problems caused by polluting harmful substances.

Given the lack of adequate supplies of these essential chemicals and other countries not experiencing similar problems, what is the UK government doing to change the situation? Does it try to procure other suppliers, prioritize the transportation of necessary materials to the water companies, is it proactive in trying to source supplies in the UK rather than the EU?

A few seconds of Googling brings up the name of Accepta, one such supplier of water treatment chemicals in Merseyside, but according to the Rivers Trust map, some of the biggest brown spots, with the largest amounts of pollution, are in the Merseyside area. definitely transport there can not be such a problem. Is this starting to look like a situation similar to that of PPE? Perhaps, given that there are chemicals involved. Aunt…

Discharge of large quantities of sewage into rivers, estuaries and seas can cause health problems (people are already talking about the possibility of cholera) and will have a negative impact on wildlife and some of Scotland’s high-value exports.

Many of John Lamont’s constituents working in agriculture or fisheries and fish processing must be somewhat concerned about how Brexit is affecting their jobs and livelihoods. Now as sewage is pumped into the Tweed river, we have to wonder how many of the landowners with high-value fishing strokes in the river, avid fishermen, or those who make a living from raising mussels and hunting other shellfish, will feel how many of them will feel.

And if Brexit regulations have not made exporting increasingly difficult for exporters, many fishermen have been hit even harder. going on for a long time EU rulesPrey of live bivalve mollusks (mussels, oysters, scallops, mussels and oysters) from non-EU countries may only be imported untreated if they come from water of the highest quality. Also, ships from non-EU countries cannot unload live bivalve mollusks into EU ports. Much of England’s coastline will probably no longer be named as having the highest quality water, so who will want shellfish?

And as the UK Environment Secretary, George Eustace, on a small note on sewage and potential drinking water problems, decided From 7 January, the UK will stop recognizing and allowing mineral water imports from EU and EEA countries.

So if your water is undrinkable and your usual tip is a non-UK mineral water then hard lines. You may want to buy shares now.

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Mail DAMN! first appeared newsnet.scot.

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