Charity warning over raw sewage discharge levels
Published: 14th Nov 2011 21:04:58
Thousands more pipes could discharge raw sewage into the sea, rivers and lakes than was previously thought, the Marine Conservation Society has said.
The conservation charity said the usually published figure of 22,000 discharge pipes in England and Wales should actually be about 31,000.
That is because other categories of pipes have the same function, it said.
The Environment Agency said over £8bn has been invested to upgrade the sewage system over the past 20 years.
The MCS also called for overflow pipes to be mapped and managed more closely.
The charity said that overflow pipes which prevent sewage backing up into drains and houses in times of heavy rain are necessary in an emergency. But water companies needed to invest in the sewer network to ensure untreated waste water was only released in urgent cases.
The MCS also called for overflow pipes to be mapped and managed more closely.
Referring to the 22,000 discharge pipes, the charity said the figure only referred to pipes known as combined sewer overflows and emergency overflows.
The organisation said it had discovered that four other categories of outflows - for example at pumping stations or waterworks - perform the same function, bringing the total figure to an estimated 31,000.
MCS pollution programme manager Dr Robert Keirle said the society "accepts that combined sewer overflows and emergency overflows are an essential part of a well-managed and maintained sewerage network, if sited, used and monitored appropriately.
"However, MCS insists that they should not be used for routine discharge of excess sewage, as an alternative to increasing the capacity of sewers to cope with a growing population."
Dr Keirle also said more needed to be done to map and monitor the outflows, so the public had more information about where they are, if they are monitored and when and for how long sewage is flowing into the sea.
"Mapping costs relatively little yet it could make the difference between an enjoyable trip to the beach or one that ends up in A&E with ear, nose and throat infections or stomach upsets," he added.
Research from the society also suggested there are outlets around the UK coastline which are discharging sewage more than the permitted 10 times a year, including one in Kent which let out waste for more than 1,000 hours during the bathing season in 2010.
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said in addition to the £8bn spent by water companies to upgrade sewer systems and reduce water pollution over the past 20 years, over 98% of beaches had met standards for bathing water quality this year.
He said that the agency had also helped to secure a further £4bn investment by water companies in environmental improvements by 2015.
He added: "The Environment Agency publishes detailed online profiles of every designated bathing water in England and Wales.
"The location of all types of outfall is included in these profiles, along with information on the work being done to improve bathing water quality."
At 14:06:33 in EnglandDivers have been told not to enter a former warship scuttled off Cornwall and Devon because it has become "simply too dangerous", site managers say.
At 13:56:38 in WalesA vulnerable teenage boy told he will never walk again after a bridge fall was trying to escape from bullies, say his family.
At 13:55:54 in ScotlandAn armed thief who held up a bookmaker with a knife in West Lothian is being sought by police.
At 13:51:53 in Technology
At 13:49:34 in EnglandA Manchester museum is holding a football shirt "amnesty" to gather "worn-out and ill-fitting" strips for grassroots projects across the world.
At 13:48:43 in SportSt Helens coach Nathan Brown wants to launch a new era at the club by securing the League Leaders' Shield against Warrington on Thursday.
At 13:41:14 in EntertainmentActor Reece Shearsmith takes the lead role in the new four-part ITV drama Chasing Shadows - set in a missing persons field unit that hunts serial killers who prey on the vulnerable.
At 13:39:44 in EnglandA man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a pub landlady who went missing in 1997.
At 13:38:34 in WalesThe building used as the TV drama Hinterland's police station has been given a guide price of £250,000 ahead of its auction later this month.
At 13:36:53 in EnglandFive Royal British Legion drop-in centres are opening in UK cities as the charity aims to become "more accessible" to those who need it.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2011. Charity warning over raw sewage discharge levels [Online] (Updated 14th Nov 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/202224/Charity-warning-over-raw-sewage-discharge-levels [Accessed 2nd Sep 2014]
News In Other Categories
Divers have been told not to enter a former warship scuttled off Cornwall and Devon because it has become "simply too dangerous", site managers say.
An armed thief who held up a bookmaker with a knife in West Lothian is being sought by police.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
More than £250,000 was donated in the last month to groups campaigning in the Scottish independence referendum.
The Ebola outbreak is putting food harvests in West Africa "at serious risk", the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warns.