Sewage dumped in more Melton and Rutland rivers than any other part of Leicestershire

A Severn Trent employee inspects a drain near a riverA Severn Trent employee inspects a drain near a river
A Severn Trent employee inspects a drain near a river
More raw sewage was dumped into rivers in the Melton and Rutland area than any other part of Leicestershire last year.

New figures published by the Environment Agency show that Leicestershire’s waterways had raw sewage dumped into them more than 7,000 times – with a third of these incidents in the Melton and Rutland area.

A total of 2,397 sewage spills took place in the constituency area for a period of 20,679 hours.

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By comparison, the Harborough and Charnwood areas only recorded 479 and 467 incidents, respectively.

In response to the findings, a spokesperson for Severn Trent Water, the main water company which covers Leicestershire and the rest of the midlands, said: “In the last year we’ve reduced our impact on rivers by a third, and according to latest Environment Agency data Severn Trent currently accounts for 16 per cent of reasons rivers in the midlands are not achieving good ecological status, with the remaining 84 per cent down to other factors.

“We have committed that our operations will not be the reason for any stretch of river in the whole Severn Trent region to be classified as unhealthy by 2030 and we’re continuing to invest £100million a year to go even further in improving river quality, including the installation of 100 per cent of monitor coverage across the region.

"We’re consistently recognised for our industry-leading performance, receiving the highest four-star rating by the Environment Agency, and are committed to being open and transparent about our performance and our plans.”

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The figures reveal that raw sewage was dumped into Leicestershire waterways for a total of 48,762 hours throughout 2022.

The research also found that 7,082 sewage dumping events took place across all constituencies throughout the county and Rutland over the 12 months.

These events see untreated waste water released into bodies of water when systems become overwhelmed, often caused by heavy rainfall, blockages or unexpected equipment failures.

The Rutland and Melton constituency was found to have the highest amount of sewage dumping events take place in Leicestershire.

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A total of 2,397 sewage spills took place in the constituency, which includes the large Rutland Water reservoir near Oakham, which is a mecca for tourists and watersports enthusiasts.

North West Leicestershire also saw high numbers of raw sewage dumps. A total of 1,283 took place in the constituency last year, lasting for more than 11,804 hours.

Constituency Total sewage spills in 2022 Total hours sewage dumped in 2022
Bosworth 785 2,649
Charnwood 467 1,488
Harborough 479 2,743
Leicester East 44 135
Leicester South 46 32
Leicester West 84 177
Loughborough 399 1,414
North West Leicestershire 1,283 11,804
Rutland and Melton 2,397 20,679
South Leicestershire 1,098 7,641

Thérèse Coffey, the secretary of state for environment, recently revealed the government’s £1.6billion plan to reduce water pollution, which included tougher penalties and heavy fines for polluters.

But the minister also said that there is ‘no way you can stop pollution overnight’ and that building more infrastructure such as super sewers could add ‘hundreds to people’s bills’.