EA reports 147,000 spills from sewer overflows last year

There were 146,930 spills into rivers from combined sewer overflows in England last year, according to Environment Agency figures.

The agency calls water company “storm overflows” a “safety valve within the sewerage network”, allowing raw sewage and runoff to flow directly into rivers when the network - most of which was built in the nineteenth century - is overwhelmed. 

In a report published last week, the agency says pressures such as “population growth and climate change can result in discharge frequency and volume from these overflows increasing over time”, with “implications for the environment and flood risk”. 

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