Skip to content

Discharges of untreated sewage: SWW to answer questions

  • by JW

South West Water to report back to Sidmouth Town Council by the end of January


After storms and sewage in our rivers and seas this autumn, there was a huge outcry:

Water profits surge even as leaks and spills wash away public trust |

Exclusive: My letter inspired the Times story on sewage threat to the beavers, but there’s more. | East Devon Watch

Parliament decided to act – although many felt it was too little too late:

In October, South West Water was be questioned by the Environmental Audit Committee on why they failed to stop pollution in rivers in Devon:

The meeting, to be held on Wednesday, October 13, comes after a government inquiry on water quality in rivers found disgusting reports of widespread pollution in the Devon’s rivers. The report found water companies discharged raw sewage into rivers in England more than 400,000 times in 2020; A previous inquiry heard that a ‘chemical cocktail’ of pollution is now affecting rivers. Just 14% of English rivers currently rated an ecological status of ‘Good,’ and no river rated ‘Good’ on its chemical status. One of the main sources for this is sewage discharge from the water industry. 

Water companies to be grilled on pollution in Devon rivers |

This month, East Devon councillors said they had had enough of surplus sewage and asked South West Water to special meeting of the council’s scrutiny committee:

SWW are to be questioned about recent and regular historic sewage discharges at The Ham by South West Water – following a meeting of Sidmouth Town Council:

The Ham – Sewage discharges
Councillor Lockyear gave a report on the recent and regular historic discharges at The Ham by South West Water.

1) Sidmouth Town Council requests that South West Water reviews discharges of untreated sewage to the River Sid, its tributaries and nearby sea, to determine whether they are unsatisfactory according to the Environment Agency definitions, and report back to Sidmouth Town Council on their conclusions, and remedial action plan, in the event discharges are found to be unsatisfactory.
2) That the Member of Parliament be contacted as part of this process.
3) That a response be requested from South West Water by the end of January 2022.