According to the environment secretary, the UK government is taking urgent steps to prevent sewage flows into rivers and the sea in England. George Eustice outlined a plan to cut pollution from the “most damaging” storm overflows by 75% by 2035 and 80% by 2050. Water corporations are under pressure after 1,000 sewage breaches per day in 2021. If they admit to illegal discharges, they may face legal repercussions. Following the admission last year, the government started a comprehensive investigation of England’s more than 2,200 sewage treatment plants, which included all water and sewerage companies. Mr. Eustice indicated that the government will invest £7 billion in sewage infrastructure upgrades until 2025, but admitted that after that, water bills will rise by about £12 per year to cover costs.

The number of sewage spills has been dubbed a “national scandal” by the Liberal Democrats, who accuse the administration of “ignoring the country’s outrage.” Labor said that the UK was in the midst of a “dirty water emergency,” blaming the Conservative government for allowing water companies “to dump raw sewage into our rivers, lakes, and seas with impunity.” According to new data released on March 31, 2022, storm overflows, which pour untreated sewage and precipitation into the environment to alleviate pressure on the system, resulted in more than 372,000 spills in 2021.