Discharge scandal in England: distributors promise to invest

By Le Figaro with AFP



Water UK has announced £10 billion of investment for England, making possible “largest sewer modernization since the Victorian era(illustration photo). Aleksandr Kurganov / stock.adobe.com

“We want to get it right, we have a plan and are determined to get the situation right as quickly as possible,” said Water UK’s English unit.

English water distributors apologized on Thursday for their inaction in the mive sewage discharge scandal in rivers and the sea, promising billions of investments to improve the situation. “We are sorry. We want to turn things around, we have a plan and are determined to correct the situation as soon as possible.“, indicated the English unit of Water UK, which brings together the distributing companies.

UK sewage systems include emergency drain valves that are supposed to flush out sewage to prevent overflows during heavy rains. But many distributors across the country are accused of overusing it, even in times of drought, to make up for a lack of investment in the sewer system that dates from the Victorian era to the 19th century. . In 2022, they thus carried out 301,000 wastewater discharges into waterways according to official statistics, or 825 per day. These water discharges have polluted British beaches, to the point where some had been closed to access in the middle of a heat wave.

Faced with the problem, Water UK announced 10 billion pounds (11.5 billion euros) of investments for England, making it possiblelargest sewer modernization since the Victorian era“. Water UK chairman Ruth Kelly, however, conceded that English consumers would be subject to a “slight upward pressureon their bills, drawing criticism from environmental ociations.

After years of relentlessly flooding our waterways and beaches with sewage, an ‘oops, sorry’ from the water companies won’t be enough.“Reacted Doug Parr, responsible for Greenpeace UK. “The promised £10billion is a start, but if it ends up on citizens’ bills while shareholder dividends remain intact, it would be a very strange way to apologize“, he added. “Investment pledged by Water UK must be funded by water company profits, not taxpayers“, abounded on the BBC Izzy Ross, of the ociation of protection of the oceans Surfers Against Sewage.

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