Worried Tamworth councillors are calling on Severn Trent to take action on sewage dumping in the River Anker and Tame – which they say could be like having ‘an open sewer running through our Tamworth’.
The Rivers Trust have created a sewage map showing sewage discharged into local ricers, and it's uncomfortable reading for Tamworth. The map shows that there have been hundreds of hours of raw sewage discharge in Tamworth since the start of 2021.
Conservative Councillors have raised this shocking news at a meeting of Tamworth Borough Council and are calling on Severn Trent to stop dumping untreated sewage into rivers and waterways. Moving a formal motion calling on the water company to do this.
Local Conservative Councillors have publicly raised concerns that untreated sewage was dumped into the River Anker and River Tame for hundreds of hours in 2021.
Councillor Robert Pritchard, who led the motion said: “As someone who enjoys our rivers and open spaces, the news that raw sewage is being dumped in them in the 21st century came as a shock.”
“The dumping of raw sewage into our local rivers turns them into open sewers as they pass through our lovely town. It’s such a shock that in the 21st century Severn Trent Water is dumping raw sewage into our rivers and waterways. This has to stop today.”
The motion moved by the Conservative Councillors calls for Severn Trent Water to undertake urgent action to prevent further raw sewage discharge into our local rivers in the short, medium and long term.
It also asks a council committee to investigate this matter, as well as Tamworth’s local environment to benefit from the fines levied against water companies who are dumping raw sewage in our local rivers.
Councillor Jeremy Oates, Leader of Tamworth Borough Council, said: “Raw sewage going into our rivers is not only hugely worrying, it’s also a threat to wildlife. Our local rivers are home to many birds, fish and animals and the thought of raw sewage going into it is very shocking. It’s a threat to human and animal health.”
Cllr Sam Smith Added, “It’s very worrying that the water company can dump raw sewage into the local rivers without anyone being informed it has happened.”
Severn Trent was fined £1.5million for its sewage discharges into waterways in 2021 and wastewater gets released into waterways by overflow pipes during heavy rainfall, to relieve pressure on the local sewage network.
You can explore the map for yourself here: https://theriverstrust.org/key-issues/sewage-in-rivers.
Full motion submitted to Tamworth Borough Council.
To consider the following motion, notice of which has been duly given in accordance with Procedure Rule No. 4.12.1 by Councillors Robert Pritchard, Chris Cooke, Paul Turner, Thomas Jay, Samuel Smith and Simon Goodall.
According to a map produced by The Rivers Trust using the latest available public data, there has been hundreds of hours of raw sewage discharge in Tamworth during 2021. These discharges are across multiple sites in the borough, and we are sure that residents will be shocked to fund raw sewage is being dumped in local rivers in the 21st century. Residents should have access to clean rivers and open water and we very much support the steps the government is taking towards a ‘polluter pays’ principle when it comes to tackling river pollution.
The motion recommends that this authority:
• Calls on Severn Trent Water to undertake urgent action to prevent further raw sewage discharge into our local rivers in the short, medium and long term.
• Ask scrutiny to look into this matter and engage with local partners, environmental bodies and utility providers to develop a broader approach to improving water quality in rivers in Tamworth.
• We support the government’s new initiative to use money from fines for water pollution to benefit the nature environment and call for some of this to be used to improve Tamworth's environment.