Many thanks to those who have contacted me about the Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill.
I am aware that in 2019, the Environment Agency sampled 420 bathing waters in England. The Agency found that 98.3 per cent of the bathing waters tested met the minimum standard of “Sufficient” set by UK Regulations, and 71.4 per cent met the highest “Excellent” standard.
The Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill proposes to enshrine into law a duty on water companies to take all reasonable steps to ensure that untreated sewage is not released into rivers and other inland waters. The Bill's proposers are seeking to support the Government in meeting its environmental commitments by placing obligations on the Government, Ofwat and the Environment Agency to ensure compliance with this duty. I am committed to the environmental ambitions that the Government has already outlined, and I will look closely at this Bill and its provisions.
I will continue to monitor progress in Parliament closely.