Closed petition Require Water Companies to Refund Customers When They Dump Sewage

It’s a consumer rights and pollution issue. We pay for the water company to take away surface-foul water to be treated at local sewage works. This amounts to around 45-50% of our annual bill. If the companies dump that waste water into the river or sea, without treatment, they are ripping us off.

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Water companies have dumped sewage into rivers or the sea for years. Even in the height of summer during periods of low rainfall. It is more profitable for them to occasionally sluice the sewage, when they think they can get away with it, rather than treating it. If they were not just fined for any illegal dumping but forced to refund for treatment they haven’t done, it may make them a little more hesitant to carry on this disgusting practice.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

1,021 signatures

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Other parliamentary business

Plan to reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows published by Government

On 26 August the Government published a plan to reduce the discharge of sewage from storm overflows by water companies, together with its response to the consultation it held on this issue earlier this year.

The Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan sets new targets for water companies, working with regulators and the Government, to reduce and eventually eliminate ecological and public health harms from storm overflows.

The Government says the Plan will require water companies to take actions in order to tackle storm sewage discharges by 2050, including:

  • Reducing the volume of discharges
  • Treating sewage before it is discharged
  • Delivering £56 billion of investment in environmental infrastructure

Specifically, water companies will have to:

  • Improve all overflows discharging into or near designated bathing water, and 75% of overflows discharging to high priority ecological sites, by 2035
  • Ensure no storm overflows are operating outside of unusually heavy rainfall, or causing any adverse ecological harm, by 2050

Failure to meet these targets could see companies fined or forced to return money to customers.

The Government has said it will review how the Plan is working, and the targets in the Plan, in 2027.

Who has published the Plan?

The Plan was developed and published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). This is the Government department responsible for improving and protecting the environment, as well as issues affecting rural communities and the agriculture, fishing, and food and drink sectors.

DEFRA only has direct responsibility for environmental policy in England, but works closely with the devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, who are responsible for policy in those nations.

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