All storm overflows now covered by plan to clean up waterways

• Government expands plan to tackle storm overflows, including all coastal and estuary sites • Marine protected areas and shellfish water protected areas made a priority • Plan to drive £60 billion capital investment over next 25 years - the largest infrastructure programme in water company history

Action to tackle sewage pollution and clean up waterways has been expanded, Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey confirmed this week.  All coastal and estuary storm overflows are now included in the largest infrastructure programme in water company history.

The updated Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan sets out stringent targets to protect people and the environment; and prioritises for early action areas used for bathing, for growing shellfish or with high ecological importance.

The additions to the Plan will also mean that Marine Protected Areas and shellfish water protected areas will also be added to the ‘high priority sites’ list, alongside Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and bathing waters.

The expanded plan will result in an estimated increase in capital investment in the water system of £60 billion to tackle storm overflows, up from the £56 billion announced in 2022.

This is part of continued action announced in the Plan for Water, which sets out government’s strategy to hold water companies to account and manage the pressures on our water resources through more investment, stronger regulation and tougher enforcement.

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey said:

Thérèse Coffey
Thérèse Coffey

“As a coastal MP, I am determined to address the damage sewage discharges have on our coastlines.

“Water companies must clean up their act and our Plan means no overflow will be left behind in our efforts to clean up our waterways.

“Through more investment, stronger regulation and tougher enforcement of the water sector we will tackle pollution from every storm overflow in the country.”



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