Legal duty to reduce sewage spills

Q. When will the timetable be set for reducing discharges that public can see and monitor?

A: Early next year. Measured against 8 duties in Environment Act

However, a written answer about the Lake District only talks about ‘maintaining’ level of discharges. This is a worrying indication that the government might not follow through on the Water Companies new legal duty to “progressively reduce” pollution. My written question and answer below:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park on 9 November (HL3061), whether the number of spillages from United Utilities treatment plans into (1) Lake Windermere, and (2) Lake Grasmere, are expected to reduce further in (a) 2021, and (b) in subsequent years. (HL3951)

Tabled on: 10 November 2021

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park:

In the last Asset Management Plan (AMP) cycle (2015-2020), United Utilities (UU) delivered a number of schemes in the Lake District to reduce spills into Windermere and other lakes. UU also made improvements to reduce the frequency of storm spills into Lake Windermere from Glebe Road pumping station and into Lake Grasmere from Grasmere Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW). As a result, the number of storm spills from Glebe Road and Grasmere WWTW was reduced significantly in 2020, and these improvements should be maintained in future years.

The Environment Agency is currently looking at the most recent data to determine if further interventions are required.