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Sewage discharge into Cornwall's rivers



This has been an issue very much at the top of the minds of people in Falmouth recently. We know that storm overflows discharge into our rivers and hence the sea in Cornwall. It’s also one of the issues that doesn’t help our fishing industry, as our waters are not Class A status so shellfish caught here has to be purified before it can be exported to Europe. “The environment minister, Rebecca Pow, has promised to bring in legislation to reduce discharge of raw sewage into rivers. In 2019, water companies discharged raw sewage from storm overflows for 1.5m hours in 204,000 incidents. These releases are permitted after extreme weather but the data revealed the frequent nature of the spills. None of England’s rivers meet quality tests for pollution, and just 14% are deemed to be of a good ecological standard. Hugo Tagholm, of Surfers Against Sewage, said: “For the first time since the 1990s, sewage pollution is back at the top of public and political consciousness … They must now manage and measure progress – and get as close to zero sewage emissions as possible.”” Some residents from SAS (Surfers against Sewage) have proposed a measuring/warning system for our local beaches? As a safety and awareness raising tool, it would be very useful. I have put them in contact with Environmental Services at Cornwall Council.

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