Storm overflow spill data has revealed a troubling reality: the number of sewage discharges into our rivers throughout 2022 remains alarmingly high.
The situation is even more concerning in light of last year's widespread drought.
Incomplete coverage of combined sewer overflows makes it difficult to compare the data to previous years in any meaningful manner.
The data paints a bleak picture, as rivers are left to bear the brunt of ongoing pollution. In response to the data release, environmental campaigners are pushing the government and water companies to take urgent and transparent action. They are also sharing ways in which we can all get involved and join the fight to protect our rivers.
To make the data more user-friendly, the Rivers Trust is working to update their Sewage Map with the latest information. The map will include new features to enhance usability. Stay tuned for updates on the map and calls to action across social media platforms.
The campaigners' message to the government is clear: urgent steps must be taken to reduce sewage pollution. Their demands include a faster implementation of sustainable drainage systems in development, speeding up timelines outlined in the Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan, and ensuring that all water companies publish their live data.
The primary request for water companies is to publish live data in a standardised and usable format, including live spill alerts on our rivers from every water company.