Guildford’s Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate Zöe Franklin’s fury as “horrifying” latest figures reveal the full extent of Thames Water’s Sewage Dumping.

28 Mar 2024
ZF at Conference
  • hours of raw sewage dumping two-and-a-half times higher than 2022 figures 
  • number of sewage spills more than doubles
  • further call for Conservative Government urgent action to save taxpayers from risk of multi-billion pound bailout bill

Latest figures released by the Environment Agency show raw sewage spills reached a record high in 2023. 

Of all the Water Companies in England and Wales, failing Thames Water had the highest increase in the number of spills, while the number of hours it dumped raw sewage in our rivers and waterways increased by two-and-a-half times compared to 2022. 

The Environment Agency found Thames Water’s Sewage Dumping has soared:   

  • 112% increase in the number of sewage dumps, from 8,014 (2022) to 16,990 (2023)  
  • 163% increase in the hours of sewage dumping, from 74,693 (2022) to 196,414 (2023)  

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate Zöe Franklin said: “These figures are horrifying. Make no mistake, this is the shameful legacy of Thames Water’s years of underinvestment while paying out billions to executives and shareholders, while the Conservative Government has just stood back and watched.”  

Liberal Democrats are calling for tougher action against sewage dumping in local rivers, including replacing Ofwat with a tougher regulator. The party has also called for a ban on bonuses for water company bosses whose firms have dumped sewage into waterways. 

Ms Franklin added: “The Conservatives are desperately trying to hide behind their empty posturing. The Government’s “plan” to tackle sewage pollution gives water companies a deadline of 2035 to reduce the amount of raw sewage dumped into bathing water and areas of ecological importance. And MPs, including Guildford Conservative MP Angela Richardson, voted to allow sewage discharges in other waterways until 2050! Do the Conservatives think we’re stupid!”  

Ms Franklin continued: “Speaking at the Liberal Democrat spring conference, I led calls for the Government, regulators, and Thames Water itself to address the failures causing lasting damage to our environment, and leaving communities without a reliable infrastructure that is fit for purpose.  

“Thames Water is on the brink of bankruptcy. The Liberal Democrats are pushing for the Government to use new powers to put the company into Special Administration, or taxpayers would face a bailout bill of billions if Thames Water collapses. 

“To fail to do this would show yet more reckless disregard for us all. The Government must act now.”