The Environment Agency has reported a 14% increase year on year in the number of significant pollution incidents, to 493 in the 2018-19 financial year with water company incidents rising to 69 from 58 accounting for 12% of the year’s total.
In its latest annual report the agency said the increase in serious pollution events was “partly due to the prolonged periods of dry and hot weather in 2018-19” which, it said, intensified the impact of incidents. According to the report water along with illegal waste management, agriculture and "other, non-regulated companies" accounted for 66% of all incidents. Water and illegal waste had each increased their number of incidents year on year.
The agency reported a 14% shortfall in its target of enhancing 2,000km of the water environment.