Protecting rivers

There has been much concern about pollution in rivers and the potential for storm overflows to contribute to this problem. The government has listened and will be changing legislation already on the way through parliament.

Yesterday it was announced that the Environment Bill will be strengthened further by enshrining into law requirements on water companies to significantly reduce discharges from storm overflows.

  • Storm overflows help to prevent sewers being overloaded in wet weather and backing up into homes and businesses – but greater rainfall caused by climate change as well as increases in population mean they have been used more often in recent years.
  • That is why yesterday the government announced a new amendment to the Environment Bill, which will enshrine into law a duty on water companies to secure a progressive reduction in discharges from storm overflows, as part of the direct action we are taking to tackle storm overflows through a swathe of measures in the Environment Bill.#
  • The government will continue to challenge underperforming companies and increase monitoring to protect our rivers and streams from water pollution as we work towards our long-term goal of eliminating harm from storm overflows.


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