Yorkshire Water dumped sewage 870 times into the River Nidd last year

31 Mar 2023

New figures released by the Environment Agency show that Yorkshire Water discharged sewage into the River Nidd a staggering 870 times last year.  The sewage discharged by Yorkshire Water lasted 6,177 hours. Dacre sewage pumping station alone saw 87 spills and 1014 hours of sewage discharged.

The Government allows water companies to discharge raw sewage into rivers, lakes and coastlines following a storm. This includes sewage being pumped into bathing water areas and wildlife habitats.

Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson for Harrogate and Knaresborough, Tom Gordon, has called for a ban on these sewage discharges in protected waters, as well as a ban on water company executives being paid multi-million pound bonuses.

The Environment Agency data released on Friday 31st March has revealed raw sewage was spilled into English rivers 824 times a day last year – despite the fact there was barely any rainfall and most of the country was in drought.

The Liberal Democrats in Parliament recently revealed water companies breached their sewage permits over 500 times last year, double compared to the previous year.

Conservative MPs, including Harrogate and Knaresborough MP - Andrew Jones, have shamefully voted against a ban on sewage discharges and now swimmers and wildlife are left to pay the price.

Tom Gordon, Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson for Harrogate and Knaresborough, said:

“These figures are a damning verdict on the Government’s attempt to stop Yorkshire Water from dumping sewage into our waterways.

“Local people are furious that our swimming locations and previous wildlife habitats have become poisoned with raw sewage. The Conservative Government just doesn't seem to care. I think it’s time the Environment Secretary resigned and was replaced with somebody who actually cares about our rivers and lakes.

“It is time Ministers got tough with Yorkshire Water. They are raking in massive profits all whilst destroying the environment. Frankly, the whole thing stinks.

“This is a problem that can only be solved by tougher rules in Parliament, we need an MP who will stand up and vote for tougher rules on water companies.

I know local communities across the area are demanding action and that this scandal finally ends. But it shouldn’t be left to the community to clean up this Conservative Government’s mess. I will stand up and fight to save the River Nidd and our other local waterways from these sewage discharges.”