The BBC reports water companies have been illegally dumping untreated sewage into rivers in England and Wales, an investigation by BBC Panorama has found. Data analysed by the programme showed some companies have regularly breached the conditions in their permits.
Treatment works are only allowed to put sewage into waterways after wet weather and when they are close to capacity. The water industry says it will invest more than a billion pounds over five years to reduce discharges into rivers. Treatment works are allowed to release sewage into rivers and streams after extreme weather, such as torrential rain, and when they are operating close to full capacity.