October 29, 2021 9.06 am This story is over 29 months old

Almost 2,000 sewage spills in Lincolnshire rivers last year, study finds

An average of over two sewer spills a day

By Local Democracy Reporter

Amid uproar at a parliament rejection of sanctions on water companies dumping sewage into rivers, it has been found that thousands of sewage spills were reported in Greater Lincolnshire last year.

The Rivers Trust issued a report looking into the number of sewer storm overflow spills there were in beds of water across the country in 2020, with Lincoln and Gainsborough being the worst affected in Lincolnshire.

A map showed where the sewerage network discharges treated effluent and overflows of untreated effluent and storm water into rivers across the country.

This map shows the amount of sewage overflow spills there were in rivers and other beds of water last year. The brown dots indicate areas which had over 100. | Photo: The Rivers Trust

Across the Greater Lincolnshire region, there was 1,796 of these spills in rivers in 2020 alone, spanning across a cumulative time period of 18,874 hours, which equates to 786 days of sewage spills.

Last year, Bridge Street pumping station in Gainsborough spilled sewage 169 times for a total of 922 hours, and Sincil Bank in Lincoln suffered 126 spillages for a jaw-dropping total of 2,989 hours.

Other problem areas in Greater Lincolnshire were Caistor, which saw 120 overflow spillages for close to 2,500 hours in 2020, and Scunthorpe South Grange which had 101 spills.

Comparably, Lincolnshire is not as widely affected as other regions in the UK, such as Yorkshire, Lancashire and Tyneside, but the figures are still cause for concern.

Lincolnshire did not see as many spillage overflows as the likes of Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield. | Photo: The Rivers Trust

The topic is particularly poignant given the recent parliamentary vote to not amend the Environmental Bill and place harsher legal sanctions on water companies for discharging sewage into rivers and seas.

The proposal from the House of Lords was rejected by MPs last week to mass uproar, which has prompted a number of Conservative members who voted against the amendment to explain their decision.

MP for Lincoln, Karl McCartney. | Photo: UK Parliament

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney, who was one of the 265 MPs to vote against the sanctions, issued a detailed statement to The Lincolnite to explain his stance, stating that it was not financially viable (read his statement here).

Mr McCartney said that it was important to “put the record straight” as he accused social media and the press of sensationalising the issue and reporting misinformation.

He stated: “It is a total nonsense to say I ‘voted to allow raw sewage to pollute our wildlife, our sports fields and our food’, which is what people have actually posted on social media over the last few days. If only they looked at the facts for themselves rather than idly retweet what they have been sent. 

“Given how much I care about the environment, as I have always supported the need to ensure the River Witham and Brayford Pool are cleaner, alongside my concern for animal welfare, this deliberate political scaremongering by those who created the recent campaign is pathetic.

“The statutory intent here could not be clearer and none of these measures are indicative of any plan to pump raw sewage into rivers!”