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  • by Karma Loveday

Activists mull legal action to make regulators enforce sewage law

WildFish has warned Ofwat and the Environment Agency that it will bring further legal proceedings against them if they do not take action to enforce the law on sewage.

The activist has sent formal letters to both regulators, setting down its view on exactly what the 1994 Urban Wastewater Treatment Regulations require them to do to end unlawful sewage discharges. This follows a recent judicial review challenge which WildFish said clarified the position and “confirmed that sewage treatment infrastructure needed to comply with the 1994 law must be funded by the water companies and not by customers through their water bills”.

Guy Linley-Adams, WildFish solicitor, said: “It is now clear that Ofwat has a duty directly to enforce the 1994 law against water companies, which it has failed to do over decades. It must now do that urgently.

“The Environment Agency also has a duty to secure compliance with the 1994 law by tightening the terms of the permits it issues to water companies under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016. The Agency must do that at once, as most permits issued by the Agency do not currently restrict raw sewage overflow discharges to exceptional weather.”


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