Huw Merriman, MP for the Bexhill and Battle constituency, has welcomed the news that all of England’s storm overflows are now being electronically monitored, meeting the government’s target to achieve 100% coverage by the end of 2023.
Event Duration Monitors (EDMs) have been fitted to every storm overflow across the water network in England. These monitors report in real time how, when, and for how long the overflows release sewage into rivers and seas. The information recorded gives the public a better understanding of when discharges are taking place, and allows the government and regulators to better hold water companies to account for illegal sewage spills.
When the government came to power in 2010, just 7% of the nearly 15,000 storm overflows in England had monitors fitted. Ministers subsequently set England’s water companies the target of having each overflow monitored by the end of 2023.
Reacting to the news, Huw said:
“Tackling sewage pollution is one of my key priorities for the constituency. Reaching the 100% target for storm overflow monitoring is an important step forward.
“Increased monitoring provides greater transparency for the public on when discharges are happening, and gives government and the regulators a better understanding of storm overflow operations. The data provided will be invaluable in helping to identify where improvements can be made.
“I am not complacent, though, and recognise there is still a lot more that needs to be done. I am looking forward to continuing to work hard with Southern Water and the Environment Agency to ensure make real progress locally.”
The target of reaching 100% storm overflow monitoring was one of a number of ambitious actions set out in the government’s Plan for Water. The plan details the additional investment that has been allocated to the water sector, and how stronger regulation and enforcement will be achieved.