Wider lessons of sewage shock for North West Water

North West Water is being forced to spend a further £100 million on improving sewage treatment in the Blackpool area to meet EC bathing water standards. The move follows the failure of modelling work to make accurate predictions of the fate of sewage effluent - a finding likely to add weight to a call by MPs this month for more precautionary standards of sewage treatment.

The House of Commons Environment Committee urged in February that all sewage should be fully treated and disinfected before discharge to inland or coastal waters (see pp 31-32 ). The water industry said this would have "enormous" funding implications - but North West Water's experience in attempting to improve bat

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