A MAJOR investigation is finally set to be launched into the nation’s water companies after they admitted that they may have been releasing raw sewage into our rivers and waterways.
The Environment Agency (EA) and industry regulator Ofwat said that over 2,000 treatment works will be scrutinised, with companies found to be breaching their legal permits facing heavy fines and prosecution.
The long overdue move, which will be roundly welcomed by the angling community, comes after the water utilities – pushed by the pressure of new, more thorough checks – revealed that they could be releasing more sewage than their permits allow into the country’s watercourses.
The Angling Trust and Fish Legal, as well as the many anglers and groups that pressured the EA, are being praised for their role in the move.
Penny Gane, Fish Legal’s Head of Practice, is thankful that something is finally being done:
“In our experience, the biggest battle is trying to convince the EA that you have identified a problem,” she said.
“For years, they’ve chosen to minimise or otherwise explain away the obvious fact that these private companies essentially see our rivers, lakes, and coastal waters as an extension of the sewerage network.”