Water Pattern - Wildfish

Act now to stop sewage in rivers.

The Government needs to come clean about why it has failed to enforce legislation that would have delivered investment in sewage-treatment capacity to save our rivers. Donate today to help fund our legal fees.


Across the UK, raw sewage is dumped in our rivers daily. It’s time to cut the crap. 

Flooded with untreated sewage.

We pay water companies to process our waste water safely, but for years these private entities have put profit over responsibility, dumping raw, untreated sewage into rivers up and down the country. The Government’s Sewage Discharge Reduction Plan falls dangerously short of what’s required to cut the crap, giving companies free reign to go on polluting until 2050.

In 2021 alone, raw sewage was dumped (mostly illegally) into our rivers for more than 3 million hours, causing major damage to fragile ecosystems, fish habitats, and precious wild places.

We're fighting back against sewage pollution.

Our legal challenge is due to be heard in the High Court on 4 July and aims to get the Government to come clean about why it has failed to enforce legislation which has existed since 1994. We want them to enforce it from now on.

Urgent investment in infrastructure

Water companies need to invest in sewage infrastructure that is fit for purpose and end routine use of CSOs. This should not be at the expense of the customer.

Enforced regulation

Environmental regulators need the resources and funding to enforce current legalisation and hold polluters to account.

Independent monitoring

Independent, continuous monitoring of sewage discharge should be mandatory. Water companies should not be allowed to monitor themselves as they do currently.

How sewage gets into our rivers.

Sewage pollution is released into rivers through Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs).

CSOs are emergency infrastructure systems that are permitted to discharge untreated waste water during periods of exceptionally heavy rain. They are an important part of our sewage infrastructure and designed to stop sewage backing up into our homes during extreme rainfall events. However, in reality, they are deliberately used far more than regulations permit.

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