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Water companies discharged raw sewage into coastal waters used by the public over 5,000 times in the last year.

The discharges, through storm overflows, went on to beaches and into rivers that were supposed to be the some of the cleanest and safest in the world, these areas are frequented by the public and tourists alike.

Storm overflows are supposed to be used in emergencies to ease pressure on the system after extreme weather or exceptional rainfall, however they now appear to be used routinely as an answer to the growing pressure on the UK’s sewage network.

Individual water companies have been fined as much as £90m for the billions of litres of raw sewage spills, a record amount within the industry further highlighting the growing problems faced in waste water treatment.

Other water companies have produced a notably poor performance for the third consecutive year.

The Environment Agency continues a major investigation into more than 2000 sewage treatment works after water companies admitted they may be illegally discharging raw sewage. Concerns over sewage dumping into rivers and sea has caused some of those in the affected areas to take to the beaches in protest.

With only 14 percent of rivers in the UK rating as good ecological standard, a rating that suggests they are as close to their natural state as possible. It is imperative that we continue to improve the facilities, infrastructure and training relating to operating and maintaining waste water treatment plants.

To ensure that we do our part in the mission to make the UK’s beaches and rivers a safe and healthy space for all to enjoy, Merit Skills has been working with multiple water companies to develop specialist training programmes directed at filling the gaps in and upskilling the workforce within the water industry.

For more information on some of the courses we can offer please get in touch. Contact us on 01733 246415 or