Environment Agency launches major investigation into sewage

The Guardian reports water companies are at the centre of a major investigation by the financial and environmental watchdogs after they admitted they may have illegally released untreated sewage into rivers and waterways.

The Environment Agency and Ofwat said they had begun an investigation into sewage treatment works, after new checks led to the admission from the water companies.

This investigation will involve more than 2,000 sewage treatment works, nearly a third of the total number in England and Wales, with any company caught breaching their legal permits liable to enforcement action, including fines or prosecutions. 

Algae grows into £11bn industry as seaweed farms emerge along British coastline

The Daily Mirror reports never mind agriculture – algae-culture is the future as seaweed farms spring up along the British coastline. The slimy brown stuff is among the most eco-friendly raw materials as it does not need fresh water, land or fertilisers. Considered a superfood, kelp is also one of the most versatile and fast-growing organisms on the planet. Growing at up to two feet per day, it also feeds fish and other creatures, while capturing carbon emissions in the same as trees and helping to de-acidify the world’s oceans.

It is even a potential cure for farting cattle, whose emissions add to global warming. Studies show changing their diet to seaweed can cut methane by 80%. And a trial to feed them supplements is being backed by supermarket Morrisons.