Rivers in England fail pollution tests due to sewage and chemicals
All rivers in England have failed to meet quality tests for pollution amid concerns over the scale of sewage discharge and agricultural chemicals entering the water system.
Data published on Thursday reveals just 14% of English rivers are of “good” ecological standard. There has been no improvements in river quality since 2016 when the last data was published, despite government promises that by 2027, 75% of English rivers would be rated good.
The figures, from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs as part of the EU water framework directive, show for the first time that no river has achieved good chemical status, compared with 97% judged good in 2016, suggesting pollution from sewage discharge, chemicals and agriculture are having a huge impact on river quality.
Environment Agency chief, Emma Howard Boyd, said: “Water quality has plateaued since 2016, which isn’t good enough. There have been improvements over the last 25 years, for example waste water treatment works put 60% less phosphate and 70% less ammonia into the water environment than they did in 1995, but the general upward trend has not continued.“
Despite the government’s legally binding target, Thursday’s data suggest rivers are as in as poor a state as six years ago.
Howard Boyd said: “Today just 14% of our rivers are [rated good]. To get where we want to be everyone needs to improve how they use water now and that means water companies, farmers and the public.”
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