Water companies in the UK are illegally dumping raw sewage into rivers and seas, with sewage spills happening routinely, against regulations which stipulate outflows should only occur during “unusually heavy rainfall”.
Why it matters
The illegal dumping of raw sewage into rivers and seas poses a significant threat to public health and the environment. The report highlights the failure of water companies to comply with regulations and the inadequacy of the government's plan to limit releases into waterways. The legal action taken by the charity is an attempt to force the government to take more effective action to protect the UK's coastline.
What the papers say
The Guardian, The Independent, BBC News, Sky News, New Statesman, and The Mirror all report on the issue, with most sources citing the report by Surfers Against Sewage. The sources provide similar information on the scale of the problem, the failure of water companies to comply with regulations, and the legal action taken by the charity. Some sources also provide additional information on the impact of the illegal dumping of raw sewage on public health and the environment.
How we got here
The issue of sewage spills in the UK has been a long-standing problem, with reports of illegal dumping dating back several years. The report by Surfers Against Sewage is the latest in a series of attempts to draw attention to the issue and force the government and water companies to take more effective action to address it.
More on these topics
Surfers Against Sewage is a marine conservation charity working with communities to protect oceans, waves, beaches and marine life.
The Environment Agency is a non-departmental public body, established in 1995 and sponsored by the United Kingdom government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with responsibilities relating to the protection and enhancement of the envi
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the northwestern coast of the European mainland.
The Marine Conservation Society fights for the future of our ocean through people-powered action – with science on its side. Working with communities, businesses and governments, it defends habitats and species.