Sewage dumped into West Norfolk rivers by Anglian Water more than 1,000 times in 2021
Figures have revealed that sewage was dumped into rivers in West Norfolk by Anglian Water more than 1,300 times last year.
According to the ‘Top of the Poops’ website, there were 490 sewage dumps across 14 sites in South West Norfolk last year, lasting 7,356 hours.
And across 21 sites in North West Norfolk, there were 812 dumps, which lasted 7,127 hours.
An Anglian Water spokesperson said that climate change was leading to extreme weather and increased pressure on the infrastructure.
“Storm overflows were originally designed to protect from flooding during heavy rainfall, but they are no longer the right solution when sewers become overloaded," they said.
“Between 2020 and 2025, we’re reinvesting more than £200 million to reduce storm spills across the East of England and as part of our Get River Positive commitment we’ve promised that storm overflows will not be the reason for unhealthy rivers or seas in our region by 2030.”
It comes following calls for action to be taken after the standard of the bathing water at Heacham was deemed to be 'poor' in an annual survey by Surfers Against Sewage.
North West Norfolk MP James Wild said he had met with the Environment Agency, the borough council and Anglian Water to review the situation after the change in classification of Heacham water at the start of the year.
“The Environment Agency considers there are several factors that caused this change in rating and I support their efforts to address them,” he said.
“People rightly want to be able to enjoy swimming and making the most of our coast.”
An Environment Agency spokesperson said it was investigating why the water quality had deteriorated.
“Heacham North Beach is a Designated Bathing Water under the Bathing Water Regulations. It is currently classified as ‘Poor’ based on water sample results taken from 2017 to the end of 2021,” they said.
“With a ‘poor’ classification, the advice is not to swim. We are investigating why the bathing water quality at Heacham has deteriorated.”