Pair to demand action over sewage in water courses

North Norfolk District Councillors Liz Withington and Nigel Lloyd will put forward a motion concerning

North Norfolk District Councillors Liz Withington and Nigel Lloyd will put forward a motion concerning sewage discharges at the next full council meeting. - Credit: Archant/Nicholas Manthorpe

North Norfolk leaders will be urged to hold utility companies including Anglian Water to greater account over sewage dumping. 

Councillors Liz Withington and Nigel Lloyd are to ask North Norfolk District Council to write to Anglian Water for a full report on sewage discharges in the area, and an outline of what they are doing to reduce emissions. 

The storm drain gushing out what may have been sewage onto Sheringham beach after torrential rain. P

A storm drain gushing out what may have been sewage onto Sheringham beach after torrential rain last year. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Ms Withington said: "We need to be making sure they have got a clear plan of how they are going to improve the infrastructure. We need to have clarity on the level of sewage outflows across our district and their frequency.

"In an area that is dependant on tourism and has got some special environment like the chalk river beds it is not acceptable to have raw sewage pumping out onto our water courses."

Sewage is discussed on Radio 4 today

There were 17,000 spills from the sewage system in the region covered by Anglian Water in 2020. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Mr Lloyd, the council's portfolio holder for environmental services, climate change and environment, added: "Calling Anglian Water to account is the first step. They should be open to us, and I'm hoping they will come to the council and explain to members what they're doing on a regular basis from now on."

Ms Withington and Mr Lloyd plan to put forward a motion on the issue at full council meeting on November 17.

Nigel Lloyd, NNDC's portfolio holder for environmental services.

Nigel Lloyd, NNDC's portfolio holder for environmental services. - Credit: Nicholas Manthorpe

Liz Withington.

Liz Withington, North Norfolk District Councillor. - Credit: Archant

Ms Withington said Cromer had the seventh most spills in Norfolk in 2020 with 1,219 hours of spills. She said on the River Bure between Coltishall and Wroxham a sewer spilled 28 times for a total of 327 hours in 2020, and at West Runton a sewer spilled 30 times in 2020 for a total of 70 hours.

Most Read

An Anglian Water spokesman said the majority of discharges were in fact rainwater and not sewage, as storm overflows played a vital role in the wastewater network. 

He said they had a monitoring system, with data available online, although Anglian Water knew the Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) needed upgrading.

The spokesman said: "We agree that CSOs are no longer fit for purpose, particularly as our climate changes and extreme weather is more commonplace, which is why we supported the Duke of Wellington’s initial amendments to the Environment Bill.

"The water industry shares the ambitions of our customers, and their expectation that our rivers should be beautiful places, rich in nature."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter