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Case

Clean Waters

A deluge of untreated sewage is being discharged by water companies into our rivers and along our coastlines. But the Government is failing to face up to the scale of the problem. This is why we have launched legal action alongside Marine Conservation Society, Richard Haward’s Oysters and surfer and activist, Hugo Tagholm, to demand action.

Sewage dumping by water companies is one of the biggest environmental scandals of our times – destroying precious and biodiverse ecosystems, contaminating food sources, threatening people’s livelihoods and posing a serious health hazard to people enjoying our beaches and rivers.

Around 14,500 storm overflows are in operation across England to keep sewers from becoming overwhelmed. But as our Victorian-era sewers are pushed to their capacity, sewage is increasingly being discharged into our rivers and coastal waters.

This should only happen in an emergency, but it is becoming a routine practice for water companies. In 2021 alone, there were a whopping 372,533 sewage spills, over a period of 2.7 million hours according to the Environment Agency.

We need urgent action. But in August, the Government published a Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan giving water company bosses until 2050 to improve England’s storm overflows to prevent or reduce mass-scale sewage discharges.

Giving the green light to this form of environmental vandalism for decades to come will do untold damage. 

Good Law Project is supporting co-claimants, Marine Conservation Society, Richard Haward’s Oysters and Hugo Tagholm to bring a legal challenge to compel the Government to rewrite its Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan and bring forward the deadlines for water companies to act. 

We believe the Government’s lack of urgency is not only dangerous, but also unlawful. You can read our claim here.

Good Law Project recently forced the Government to go back to the drawing board on their lacklustre Net Zero strategy.

With this case, we hope to make them concede again. But we need your help.

Please join us in our campaign to protect our coastlines, rivers and waterways for generations to come by supporting this challenge.

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Every single penny that we receive makes a huge difference to our ability to hold those in power to account and demand a better, fairer future.

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