Sewage dumping into Guildford’s waterways up 34% in a year

19 Apr 2024
Zöe Franklin standing in River Wey

Sewage dumping into Guildford’s waterways up 34% in a year | Conservatives warned of a “reckoning at the ballot box.”  

Guildford Liberal Democrat Candidate Zöe Franklin’s "fury” at latest Environment Agency figures.  

Analysis of the latest official data from the Environment Agency, compiled by the House of Commons Library, reveals in 2023 Guildford’s waterways were polluted by sewage on 210 separate occasions, for a total of 1,372 hours.  

Compared to 2022, that’s an increase of: 

  • 34% in the number of sewage spills, from 157 to 210 
  • 32% in the number of hours, from 1,038 to 1,372  

Across England, sewage was dumped into waterways more than 460,000 times, for a total of more than 3.6 million hours. 9 in 10 constituencies in England saw a rise in the amount of sewage dumping in 2023 compared to 2022. 

Zöe Franklin said: “How can the Conservatives still shamelessly try to tell us that they care about us and our environment! These figures tell us that they don’t.  

“To see the amount of sewage dumped in Guildford’s waterways soar by 34% in a year shows the Conservatives’ empty posturing for exactly what it is. 

“Failing Thames Water is pouring even more raw sewage into our waterways, and the Conservatives are letting them get away with it. 

“The Conservatives are turning a blind eye to this appalling environmental vandalism. It must stop.” 

The Liberal Democrats have led the way in campaigning against sewage dumping for years. 

The party is calling for strict new measures including:  

  • replacing Ofwat with a tougher regulator 
  • a ban on bonuses for water company bosses whose firms have dumped sewage into waterways 
  • the declaration of a national environmental emergency.  

Zöe Franklin continued: “The Conservatives, and Thames Water, are treating us with contempt. 

“However much longer this failing Conservative government limps on, when the General Election comes, this appalling government faces a reckoning at the ballot box from people disgusted by this sewage scandal.” 


Notes to Editors:  

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