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Untreated sewage was discharged into England’s coastal bathing waters for greater than 160,000 hours final yr, in line with figures collated by the Liberal Democrats to mark the beginning of the summer season sea-swimming season.

Information compiled by the occasion utilizing Surroundings Company figures on 2021 discharges reveals that water corporations launched uncooked sewage 25,000 occasions into designated bathing waters off the English coast.

Figures collated by the marketing campaign group Prime of the Poops reveal that when additionally together with the showering waters in Wales, water corporations launched untreated sewage for 217,804 hours.

The washing water designations – which had been created by the EU – are supposed to spotlight the nation’s cleanest and most secure waters for the general public. The standard of the water is publicly recognized on indicators on the bathing seashores, starting from glorious to poor.

The longest discharges into bathing waters had been carried out by United Utilities, which launched untreated sewage into sea-swimming spots in its space for nearly 75,000 hours. The corporate’s worst-hit bathing water web site was Morecambe South seaside.

Southern Water, which was final yr fined a file £90m for spilling billions of litres of uncooked sewage into Hampshire and Kent coastal waters, was accountable for 20,367 hours of untreated sewage discharges into designated bathing spots off the coast of their space.

South West Water discharged sewage into bathing magnificence spots for 43,901 hours, with their longest discharge launched at Ilfracombe’s Wildersmouth Seashore, lasting 1,833 hours.

The figures had been launched because the official sea-swimming season opened on Sunday. This marks the beginning of annual monitoring of bathing-water high quality, which helps to tell the general public concerning the water at seashores they go to. The season lasts till September.

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrats rural affairs spokesperson, mentioned: “It’s now or by no means to save lots of households from swimming in sewage-infested waters this summer season.

“Youngsters ought to be free to get pleasure from Britain’s nice coastlines and lakes, but Conservative ministers are letting water corporations get away with shameful sewage dumps. That is an environmental scandal.”

The information was launched as many components of the UK put together to go to the polls on Thursday to vote in native elections.

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The Liberal Democrats have referred to as for a sewage tax on water corporations’ earnings for use to scrub up coastlines, rivers and lakes.

Surroundings Company knowledge reveals that in 2021 water corporations launched uncooked sewage into all coastal waters and rivers in England for greater than 2.7m hours. The Lib Dems mentioned that in the identical yr the companies made £2.8bn in working earnings and paid out £27m in bonuses to senior executives.

Hugo Tagholm, chief govt of the campaigning charity Surfers Towards Sewage, mentioned: “Water corporations are getting away with blue homicide – repeatedly dumping uncooked sewage into areas of particular leisure curiosity, with seeming impunity.

“Our nice beach-loving public shouldn’t need to swim or surf the gauntlet 0f sewage, pathogens and prescribed drugs which are pumped out by way of water firm pipes. Surfers Towards Sewage has been difficult the water business for many years, calling for them to place individuals and planet earlier than extreme earnings and govt bonuses. We demand a brand new decade of ambition to scrub up and defend all our bathing waters and blue areas.”

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