United Utilities behind a fifth of all pollution spills but South West Water comes second worst on duration

United Utilities, which covers Liverpool and Manchester, caused 69,000 spills and had the site with the longest-lasting sewage spills in the country. The Plumbland treatment works in Cumbria had 339 spills over the equivalent of 287 days into the River Ellen, home to salmon, sea trout and eels.

On this measure SWW comes fourth worst with 38,000 spills in the league table of ten. Using the measure of duration of spills, SWW is second worst.

www.thetimes.co.uk (Extract)

Official figures published on Friday show the number of spills from overflows, designed to act as relief valves during heavy rainfall, fell by 19 per cent. They show that 91 per cent of overflows are monitored at present…..

…Matt Staniek, of the Save Windermere campaign, said: “United Utilities even discharges sewage into Lake Windermere. If sewage is going into Windermere, imagine what’s happening to your local river.”

The duration of United Utilities’ spills was 47 per cent higher than the second worst offender, South West Water, which racked up 290,271 hours.

The worst location for the number of spills was South West Water’s Warfleet Creek Pumping Station in Dartmouth, Devon. It discharged sewage 364 times into the River Dart, which runs off from Dartmoor.

An official at United Utilities said: “We know there is much more to be done. With the largest combined sewer network in the country and 28 per cent more rainfall in our region than the UK average, we have ambitious plans to deliver further improvements.”

John Halsall, chief operating officer at South West Water, said: “We are reducing the use of storm overflows. Our plan is working but there is more to do.”….