Future Water Association criticises Government’s Stormwater Reduction Plans

Future Water is a ‘not-for-profit’ trade body that lobbies Government policy makers, regulators, water & wastewater utility companies, other professional bodies and environmental organisations.

In a statement to the press, UK trade association, Future Water, has criticised the Governments Stormwater Overflow Reduction Plan proposals, suggesting they are being rushed into existence and they will not deliver the benefits that policy makers and the public want.

The association believes there is little or no recognition of impacts on receiving waters and that this should be fundamental to SORP. They suggest that it is vital to know how the discharge is impacting on the surrounding environment, the receiving waters and ask; “what is the effect on the local ecology, water quality and how does this compare to the non-point source pollution impacts?”

Other points raised by the association include:

  • This should not be a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The consultation fails to show how SORP’s will integrate with Drainage and Wastewater Management Plans (DWMP’s), Water Resources Management Plans, Flood Risk Plans, WINEP, Surface Water Management Plans’ the drive to net-carbon zero;
  • It must be recognised that the surface and foul water collection and transport systems, and the treatment works, are inextricably linked as a single system and must be treated as such
  • CSOs (Combined Sewer Overflows) are absolutely a fundamental component within DWMPs – 90% of the UK sewers rely on the CSOs to function effectively and prevent flooding – and properly designed CSOs should not cause gross pollution or cause any harm to the river
  • Data – whilst 80% of storm overflow discharge points are monitored with Event Duration Monitors (EDMs) many have only had EDM’s installed over the last 15 months, the data for these is therefore ‘recent’
  • Real-time monitoring is critical in determining impact on receiving waters which maybe slow flowing, fast moving, high flow or low flow. Yet such systems are only just beginning to be developed

Paul Horton, CEO said: “Future Water supports the approach to tackle stormwater overflows but this must be done in an integrated way, where CSOs are seen as part of a system.

“There must be a catchment approach to managing the challenge considering all pieces of legislation. It is important to remember that resources are under significant demand and a key component for success is having the right skills to deliver the right outcomes.”

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