Today I was pleased to give my support to a new Bill to help clean up Britain’s rivers from sewage pollution, to help deliver cleaner water in my constituency’s rivers and waterways including River Foss to Farlington Beck, Gypsey Race, the River Derwent from Kirkham to the North Sea, Hodge Beck to the River Dove and Marrs Beck to Holbeck.
The Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill 2019-21 was introduced by Ludlow MP Philip Dunne and has its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 13th November 2020. The Bill places a duty on water companies to ensure that untreated sewage is not discharged into rivers and other inland waters.
It proposes several other measures, including:
- improving transparency and monitoring of the impact of spillages on water quality;
- separating surface and foul water drainage systems from new infrastructure and housing development;
- encouraging nature-based solutions for wastewater treatment;
- requiring water meters for all homes being leased, rented or sold from 2025;
- prohibiting use of plastic in flushable products;
- promoting improvements in bathing water standards for inland waters and rivers.
I know how important our many rivers are to Thirsk and Malton residents, for the health of people who use our rivers for recreation and well- being, and as vital habitats for wildlife. It’s shocking to read how many hours sewage was discharged into our rivers. In the last year alone there were 227 sewer storm overflows in the constituency amounting to a total of 6913 hours of spill duration. This is totally unacceptable so I will be supporting the Bill and working with Yorkshire Water to improve the quality of our much loved rivers.
The Bill already enjoys the support of The Rivers Trust, The Angling Trust, Surfers Against Sewage, Wildlife Trusts, Wildlife & Countryside Link, RSPB, Salmon & Trout Conservation, Freshwater Habitats, Bug Life, Waterkeeper Alliance, London Waterkeeper, Windrush Against Pollution, Sewage Free Swimmers, Blue Marine Foundation, Outdoor Swimming Society, British Canoeing, Royal Lifesaving Society, Marinet UK, and the Institute of Fisheries Management.
Philip Dunne MP said: “I know Kevin Hollinrake shares my view that we should clean up our rivers and prevent discharge of sewage pollution into our precious waterways. So, I am delighted to have his support for my Bill, which could make a real difference to the water quality of rivers in Thirsk and Malton”.