Where raw sewage was discharged into Waveney rivers

The first ever Waveney River Swim will finish at Beccles Quay. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Raw sewage was pumped into Waveney's rivers for more than 2,200 hours last year. - Credit: Archant

Sewage was pumped into rivers around Waveney for more than 2,200 hours last year, new figures show.

Water companies can pump waste into rivers and the sea during heavy rainfall to stop drains backing up and flooding homes with sewage.

Government figures show sewage was discharged into Wolds Dyke from the Boyscott Lane pumping station 31 times for a total of 709 hours last year - the equivalent of more than 29 days.

Water Recycling Centres in Beccles and Kessingland also had long-lasting spills over the year, with 30 spills lasting 403 hours and 23 spills lasting 217 hours respectively. 

The Earsham Street combined sewer overflow (CSO) in Bungay also spilled 38 times for a total of 305 hours into the River Waveney.

Anglian Water has said it has set out a clear plan of action to revive rivers.

It comes as the Environment Agency pledges to crack down on water authorities.

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Environment agency chief executive, Sir James Bevan, said: "Sewage pollution can be devastating to human health, local biodiversity and our environment.

"Storm overflows are designed to release excess storm water from the sewerage system into rivers or the sea during prolonged, heavy rainfall, to ensure they are not overwhelmed.

"Water companies should only do this under strictly permitted conditions.

"The latest data shows that water companies have been discharging sewage into waterways far too often, and that there is no room for complacency."

Anglian Water said: “Our performance continues to improve and the increasing visibility gives us more opportunities to act faster in the areas where we can have most environmental benefit. But we know we need to do more. 

"As part of our recently launched Get River Positive commitment we’ve set out a clear plan and demonstrable action. Central to the pledges is to ensure that storm overflows are not the reason for unhealthy rivers in our region by 2030. 

“We have a proven track record of investing in environmental protection and improvements, and any profit should be considered alongside the scale of our investment programme, which between 2020-2025 alone was our biggest ever at almost £6bn, £800m of which is targeted specifically at environmental improvements.

"It is the largest environmental programme of any water company in the UK."

Where was sewage discharged in 2021 by Anglian Water?

Church Lane, Corton - four spills for three hours into the North Sea

Bakers Score, Corton - 24 spills for 25 hours into the North Sea

Marina CSO, Lowestoft - 101 times for 145 hours into Waveney Dock

Station Square CSO 1, Lowestoft - 33 times for 20 hours into the Trawl Basin

Station Square CSO 2, Lowestoft - 16 times for four hours into the Outer Harbour

Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club, Lowestoft - 73 times for 107 hours into the North Sea via the Outer Harbour

St John's Road CSO, Lowestoft - 67 times for 38 hours into Lake Lothing

Belvedere Road CSO, Lowestoft - 13 times for 10 hours into North Sea via the Inner Harbour

Norwich Road CSO, Lowestoft - seven times for four hours into Inner Harbour

Rotterdam Road CSO 2, Lowestoft - 48 times for 31 hours into the Inner Harbour

Holly Road, Oulton Broad - 13 times for three hours into Lake Lothing

Water Recycling Centre, Kessingland - 23 times for 217 hours into the Kessingland Hundred River

Water Recycling Centre, Beccles - 30 times for 403 hours into the River Waveney

Caxton Sports Ground CSO, Beccles - five times for four hours into the River Waveney

Common Lane, Beccles - 18 times for 29 hours into the River Waveney

Nethergate Street CSO, Bungay - 17 times for 10 hours into the River Waveney

Earsham Street CSO, Bungay - 38 times for 305 hours into the River Waveney

Boyscott Lane, Bungay - 31 times for 709 hours into Wolds Dyke

St John's Road SSO, Bungay - three times for two hours into the River Waveney

Water Recycling Centre, Halesworth - 19 times for 159 hours into the River Blyth

Gardner Road, Southwold - 23 times for 10 hours into Salt Creek

Station Road, Southwold - 16 times for two hours into Buss Creek

Marlborough Road CSO, Southwold - 15 times for one hour into Buss Creek