East Riding Lib Dems are calling for tougher action on dumping of sewage discharges and run-offs from farms into our rivers at the next Full Council Meeting.
The call comes as figures released by the Rivers Trust shows the number of discharges and hours of discharge by sites within the East Riding Council area.
Lib Dem Cllr David Nolan said:
“In England, water companies released untreated human waste directly into our waterways over 400,000 times for a total of 3 million hours in 2020. Locally in East Riding, we have counted 154 sites identified as discharging sewage.”
“The East Riding is an area reliant on tourism. But the map shows 154 brown spots of sewage discharges spattered across it. Much of the discharges are into the Humber and along the East Coast.”
“The biggest concentration of sewage discharges are in South-East Holderness running along the coast out to Spurn Point. Skeffling is top of the dirty table with 153 discharge incidents for a total of 3,885 hours in 2020. Withernsea had discharges for 375 hours and Holmpton for 314 hours in 20202. Melton near North Ferriby had 331 incidents for a total of 954 hours.”
“Skidby on the outskirts of Cottingham had 84 spillages for a total of 756 hours. Bridlington a popular seaside destination had 90 spillages for a total of 194 hours. In my home town of Hessle, there were 89 spillages for a total of 382 hours.”
“It is a disgrace that nothing has been done to stop this. Funding of the Environment Agency to monitor river quality and regulate discharges has been cut 75% since 2010. In 2020 only 3.6% of the pollution complaints made to the Agency resulted in penalties. Our rivers are being polluted and nothing is happening.”
“The pollution of our rivers is bad for wildlife and the environment but it is also bad for the local economy. We are trying to promote our coastal area for tourism but nobody wants to paddle in sewage. The Yorkshire Wolds are in the process of being designated an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.” (AONB). Having raw sewage dumped into the Wolds rivers and Humber is not a good advert for the area.”
Councillor Linda Johnson said:
“Dumping raw sewage into rivers as frequently as appears to be happening is dangerous and foolish. Although a river can recover from a short, accidental discharge, prolonged and frequent exposure to the organic matter, solids, chemicals and hormones in sewage destroys a river’s natural biome which can kill fish, insects, amphibians and mammals as the rivers become oxygen-depleted, and resulting algal blooms can produce toxins which are poisonous to our pets and farm animals and humans. As birds and mammals eat affected fish and insects, so the natural food chain is disrupted.”
“It seems as if water companies have been unable to get all the chemicals required for treating raw sewage due to supply chain disruption due to Covid and Brexit, ageing infrastructure of water treatment plants and more storm surge events due to climate change. It’s vital for the health of our rivers, insects, animals and birds, that steps are taken to remedy this issue.”