New plan to tackle sewage being pumped into sea along Lincolnshire coast welcomed

A new plan to stop sewage being pumped into the sea has been announced after visitors were unable to go for a paddle at Ingoldmells following the recent storms.

MP for Boston and Skegness Matt Warman.
MP for Boston and Skegness Matt Warman.

Sewage alerts were issued at a privately-owned beach along the Lincolnshire coast as parts of the county also flooded.

The continued use of this Victorian practice introduced as a safety valve for combined sewage systems has caused outrage from both the Boston and Skegness Labour Party and the local MP Matt Warman.

Mark Anderson, chairman of the Boston and Skegness Labour Party, condemned Anglian Water for allowing the sewage to be pumped into the sea.

“Boston and Skegness CLP are outraged that Anglian Water has been discharging raw sewage onto our beaches here in Skegness when there is a heavy rainfall, putting the environment, tourism and our health at risk,” Mr Anderson said. “This practice has been going on for decades.

"In 2022 it is unacceptable to our community and must be stopped.”

However, Anglian Water told our newspaper they were investing £200 million to reduce storm spills.

And MP for Boston and Skegness Matt Warman said the Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan, published last week, will revolutionise how water companies tackle the number of discharges of untreated sewage.

Mr Warman commented: “I welcome this plan which will mean that water companies will face strict targets and must completely eliminate the harm any sewage discharge causes to the environment.

"The current use of sewage overflows is completely unacceptable, and I will continue to push our water company to tackle them as soon as possible.”

Mr Warman voted for measures in the Environment Act to give more powers to Ofwat, the water company regulator. Ofwat is now consulting on measures that would ensure that water companies are transparent about how executive pay and dividends align to the delivery of services to customers, including environmental performance.

He added, “Water companies need to step up and deliver the services that the residents of constituency rightly expect. I support Ofwat’s proposals to hold water companies to account and link dividend payments to their environmental performance.”

An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “Storm overflows were originally designed to protect homes and businesses from flooding during heavy rainfall, but we recognise that they are no longer the right solution when sewers become overloaded with rainwater.

" We’ve been dealing with CSOs for years, tackling those which pose an environmental risk and working through the rest. 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.”

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “This is the first government to take action to end the environmental damage caused by

sewage spills. We will require water companies to protect everyone who uses our water for recreation, and ensure storm overflows pose no threat to the environment.

“Water companies will need to invest to stop unacceptable sewage spills so our rivers and coast lines can have greater protection than ever before.”