WWF – Flushed away how sewage is still polluting the rivers of England & Wales

  1. Home
  2. /
  3. Library
  4. /
  5. WWF – Flushed away how sewage is still polluting the rivers of England & Wales

WWF delves into the alarming state of river pollution in England and Wales.  Despite the picturesque beauty and significance of these rivers, only 20% are currently in a healthy state.  The primary culprits behind this decline are pollution and over-abstraction.  The report highlights that outdated sewage treatment facilities, combined with increased rainfall and waste, result in regular discharges of crude sewage mixed with rainwater into rivers.  This is exacerbated by the fact that many of the current sewerage infrastructures were installed over half a century ago and are deteriorating faster than they are being renewed.  The report reveals that 55% of all rivers failing to achieve good ecological status are polluted by wastewater.  There are 17,684 licensed sewer overflows in England and Wales, with many discharging untreated sewage more frequently than they should.  The combined pressures of urbanisation, population growth, and climate change further strain an already overwhelmed system.  The report calls for urgent action, including the full transposition of the EU Water Framework Directive and the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive into law, strategic wastewater management plans, and greater public awareness and responsibility.  The overarching message is that sewage pollution is a pressing issue that requires immediate attention to protect both the environment and public health.