Speak up for the River Dee

Let the Government know what you think about their plan to reduce sewage spills in England 

We are calling on you to respond to the English Government’s consultation on sewage spills. Your response could help instigate the change we need. The deadline to respond to the Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan is 12th May. 

The statistics 

The Rivers Trust has compiled a sewage map, using the Environment Agency’s recently released statistics about sewage overflows from 2021 in England. Using the map to crunch the numbers for the River Dee catchment in England, we found there were 2,171 spills for a total of 10,341 hours from 81 monitored storm overflows. While this only represents roughly a quarter of all spills in the Dee catchment once the Welsh data is included (in the River Dee catchment in Wales there were 6,197 spills in 2021), the time is now to ask for more urgency to tackle the issue in England. 

Target dates take too long 

As we said when the consultation was released, the target dates are not soon enough. For example, the current Government plan asks water companies to eliminate storm overflows affecting England’s most important protected sites by 2035. It suggests cutting about 40% of the total discharges into rivers by 2040, then 80% by 2050. This fails to set the pace the River Dee so desperately needs to be clean, for the benefit of wildlife and communities. 

Have your say 

If you agree with us and want to see positive change faster for rivers, grab this chance with both hands and respond to the consultation. We suggest you answer “strongly disagree” to many of the sections about the ambitions and timescales of the survey – showing you do not agree that these targets are good enough. At the end of the consultation, you also have the chance to comment as to why you gave your survey choices. You don’t need to be an expert, and it should only take 10 minutes of your time.  

If you want to go a step further, download The Rivers Trust briefing that outlines all the reasons why the plan falls short of what’s needed to save our rivers and send it to your MP. Don’t know who your MP is? Find your MP here