DATA showing the extent of river pollution in Ludlow and south Shropshire shows why new legislation is needed.

Philip Dunne MP for Ludlow says that his private member’s bill would cut down on the amount of sewage waste being discharged into rivers.

Sewage entered the River Teme at Ludlow on 181 occasions, for a total duration of 1,768 hours, last year. The River Teme was also affected at Burford, where 150 spillages took place for a total of 1,886 hours.

The River Clun was also affected at the town on 56 occasions for a total of 570 hours.

Sewage spilled into South Shropshire rivers for a total of 7,721 hours in 2019, as a result of 72 discharges from water treatment works across the constituency.

Mr Dunne said the extent of the problem could be even more wide-reaching, given this data has been extracted from what has been admitted publicly by water companies, some of which have been more reluctant than others to acknowledge the true extent of spillage. Although he recognises that local water company Severn Trent Water has been one of the more forthcoming of all the water companies.

“Strolling along a riverbank in south Shropshire, or looking over a bridge in one of our towns, you might not be aware of the huge problem of sewage spilling into our local rivers. But 7,721 hours of spillage in our local rivers occurred in just the last year alone,” said Mr Dunne.

“In fact I suspect the actual amount of spillage may be higher, as the current system of event monitoring across the country leaves a lot to be desired. While much of this happens at the same time when it rains, it is equivalent to a spillage happening somewhere in south Shropshire for 88 per cent of the year.

“Clearly, this is completely unacceptable, and sewage spills need to stop. I am determined to clean up the state of our rivers, not only here in south Shropshire, but across the whole country”. The Bill has its second reading on January 15.