Stop Sewage Dumping

Water companies pumped sewage into our rivers and lakes more than 400,000 times last year. The Conservatives are letting them get away with it and want taxpayers to pay to fix the problem. Water companies need to clean up their own mess and stop dumping sewage in our rivers and lakes. It's time for a 16% sewage tax on their £2.2 billion annual profits to improve our sewage system and protect our rivers and lakes.

Please sign our national Liberal Democrat petition to stop sewage dumping.



  • Every river in England is now polluted beyond legal limits.
  • The Environment Agency rated only 14% of rivers as ‘Good’ in 2019.
  • This chemical pollution is mostly caused by sewage discharges from water companies and the run-offs of nutrients from farms.
  • 36% of English rivers have been damaged by water companies.
  • In England, water companies released untreated human waste directly into our waterways over 400,000 times for a total of 3 million hours in 2020 alone.
  • Government funding to the Environment Agency to monitor river quality, and regulate farms and water companies has dropped 75% since 2010/11.
  • In 2020 just 3.6% of pollution complaints made to the Agency resulted in penalties.
  • Farms are now almost never inspected, water quality is rarely tested, and water companies can pump raw sewage into rivers with virtual impunity.
  • In addition, tyre particles, metals from brake pads, and hydrocarbons from vehicle emissions wash off road surfaces and into rivers introducing potentially carcinogenic material into the water supply.
  • Our LOCAL RIVERS are particularly threatened by further sewage discharges.
  • New analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed Britain’s nine water companies made a total £2.8 billion in combined operating profits last year. Thames Water, which dumps sewage in local rivers, made an operating profit of £488 million last year. 



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