Water UK rebuts WWF report on sewage disposal as "inaccurate"

Water UK has attacked as "inaccurate" a critical report by WWF that slates water companies' performance in their treatment and disposal of sewage.

“There’s a genuine debate to be had about how we as a country are going to deal with sewage and drainage issues in future in a way which protects our environment, but WWF have muddied the waters with an inaccurate picture of what is going on," said Water UK.

The association said WWF "over-states the link between the health of our rivers and how water companies treat and dispose of sewage." As an example It said the report does not distinguish between serious pollution incidents and those deemed by the Environment Agency as having ‘minimal impact" which, according to Water UK make up more than 97% of last year's incidents. "There are various examples of wildlife such as salmon and otters returning in recent years to rivers that have been uninhabitable since the industrial revolution," it added.

Water UK said the water industry will, by 2020, have spent around £25 billion on environmental work to improve the quality of our waterways, including upgrades in treatment methods to improve the quality of our waterways in more than 15,000km of UK rivers since 1995.