Rain brings return of Sewage Scandal

Heavy rain across the North East over the last few days has made for a miserable August and difficult driving conditions. What’s worse is that all of that rain runs into our rivers and oceans through networks of drains and sewers. Massive under-investment by our privatised water companies and repeated lack of action by the Conservative government and Hexham Constituency MP Guy Opperman means that our rivers and coastal waters are polluted with sewage.

Today Surfers against Sewage released a warning about sewage being discharged at Beadnell, one of Northumberland’s best loved beaches. Sewage discharges were recorded elsewhere too. Earlier this month 57 swimmers fell ill after swimming of Sunderland’s Roker Beach, almost certainly a consequence of E. Coli from human sewage. You can view a sewage spill map by the Rivers Trust here.

In April 2023, Labour tried to introduce a Water Quality (Sewage Discharge) Bill, which would have introduced automatic fines on water companies who dumped sewage. It would also have set legal requirements to monitor all sewage outlets – with fines for firms who don’t follow the rules – and set a legally binding target to reduce dumping events. Guy Opperman and his friends opposed this measure.

Conservative MPs will have to explain to their constituents why they resorted to underhand tricks to block Labour’s plans to end the Sewage Scandal.

Labour voted to end sewage dumping in Britain’s waters. Tory MPs voted to give it the green light.


Opperman allows sewage to be pumped into the Tyne