Water pollution incidents have displayed an almost unbroken upward trend since 1981, when the total was about 13,000. The figure for 1990 was 28,143.
Only 2.5 % of the incidents in 1990 were classed as "major". These involved "extensive" fish kills, closure of abstraction points, "excessive" breaches of consent conditions or "extensive" remedial measures.
Incidents involving oil and sewage each accounted for about 20% of the total. T