Campaign reveals extent of raw sewage dumped into Preston’s waterways

Posted on - 6th November, 2023 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Fylde News, Health, Politics, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
Preston's skyline as viewed from the River Ribble Pic: Tony Worrall
Preston’s skyline as viewed from the River Ribble Pic: Tony Worrall

A campaign is revealing the extent to which raw sewage has been dumped into Preston’s waterways.

The 38 Degrees Where’s My Poo website allows people to enter their postcode to see a map of where sewage has entered nearby waterways via monitored storm overflows.

Searching against the Preston Town Hall postcode shows that sewage was discharged 785 times in 2022. But surrounding areas fare much worse.

Where's My Poo map of Preston
The Where’s My Poo map of Preston shows several locations where sewage has been discharged

A search on the Garstang Town Hall postcode shows sewage was dumped 4,136 times in the area. That rises to 4,984 times for Kirkham Town Council, 6,542 times for Leyland Civic Centre and jumps to 20,796 times for the Longridge Village Hall postcode.

The map is based on Event Duration Monitoring – Storm Overflows – 2022 (England and Wales) on the Catchment Based Approach Data Hub.

The data shows how often and for how long monitored storm overflows discharged during 2022 for 10 water companies operating in England and Wales.

The local sewage company, United Utilities, says on its website: “Storm overflows are an important part of the sewerage network and include combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and storm tank discharges. They act as a pressure relief valve when there is too much rainfall, allowing rain water, mixed with sewage, to rise inside the sewer and eventually enter a separate pipe which flows into a river or the sea. Sewers operate this way to help prevent the flooding of streets, homes and businesses. When we do need to use them, they can sometimes affect river and bathing water quality, albeit temporarily.

“Many people have told us they do not like the idea of untreated sewage going into our rivers and seas, no matter how diluted. We agree. However, it will take many years to change how excess rainfall is managed, especially in our region.”

Last year, Blog Preston reported that polio sewage surveillance was taking place in Preston.

In 2021, Katherine Fletcher, Conservative MP for South Ribble, and Mark Menzies, Conservative MP for Fylde, both voted against the amendment that would have stopped raw sewage being dumped into rivers.

Read more: How MPs in and around Preston voted on dumping sewage into rivers

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