Sewage dumping surges 54% in Portsmouth on Conservatives' watch

9 May 2024

New figures analysing sewage dumped in Council areas have revealed that sewage was dumped into waterways in Portsmouth for 3,028 hours in 2023.

The analysis is based on official data from the Environment Agency, compiled by the House of Commons Library for the Liberal Democrats. It shows sewage was dumped into coastlines on 477 separate occasions in 2023. 

This is a shocking 54% rise in the duration of sewage spills compared to the previous year, showing how the sewage scandal has worsened under the Conservative government’s watch.

Outflow pipe

Sewage was dumped into England’s rivers over 460,000 times for a total of over 3.6 million hours in 2023.

It comes after the Liberal Democrats local election success where the party campaigned relentlessly on sewage and the local environment. The party gained over 100 seats and control of two councils, beating the Conservatives and coming second for the first time since 1996. Locally, the Liberal Democrats retained their position on the council and was the only party to gain in the south of the city, taking Eastney and Craneswater from the Conservatives and wiping out the Conservative Party in Portsmouth South.

The Liberal Democrats have led the way in campaigning against sewage dumping for years. The party is calling for strict measures including replacing Ofwat with a tougher regulator, a ban on bonuses for water company bosses whose firms have dumped sewage into waterways and the declaration of a national environmental emergency.

Last year, the Liberal Democrat-run Stockport Council became the first Council in the country to launch an official sewage inquiry. The inquiry asked for evidence from the local water companies and was chaired by Liberal Democrat councillor Lisa Smart. 

On doorstep after doorstep, people in Portsmouth told me how furious they were that filthy sewage had been pumped into their rivers and waterways - they want to send this Conservative government a message. Time and again, people tell me how they are disappointed in their Labour MP for voting with the Conservatives to make the regulator weaker and make it harder to fine Southern Water for sewage dumping.

Charlie Murphy, Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Portsmouth South

Stop The Sewage!

We want the government to stop companies like Southern Water polluting our seas, making us sick, wrecking our environment and charging us for the privilege. If you want the dumping of sewage into our seas and rivers to stop, sign below to let the government know it has to stop!

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