Maria is supporting Ludlow’s MP, Philip Dunne who has tabled Private Members Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill which has support of more than 100 MPs.
Maria has long campaigned for tougher measures to reduce the phosphate pollution levels in the River Loddon. Working together with Environment Agency and Thames Water, saw significant improvements in water quality and ecology of the river Loddon.
Maria said, “Chalk streams like the River Loddon in Basingstoke are a rare and ecologically valuable habitat. For more than 10 years I have worked with the organisations that have responsibilities to closely monitor our water quality and habitat. We will always need to do more to protect these water courses from unsustainable abstraction and sources of pollution.
Over this time I have pressed for new technology to be used at the sewage works, for new water flow meters to be installed in the river to improve analysis and worked to keep the spotlight on the quality of the water in our river.”
Maria has also welcomed a joint industry-government move to tackle environmental damage from storm overflows of sewage and the government's commitment to solve the problem.
The Storm Overflows Taskforce – made up of Defra, the Environment Agency, Ofwat, Consumer Council for Water, Blueprint for Water and Water UK – has agreed to set a long-term goal to eliminate harm from storm overflows.
They were designed to be used during extreme weather to prevent sewers becoming overloaded. However, climate change has led to increased rainfall and water infrastructure has not kept pace with development growth over decades.
Water companies will accelerate work to install monitoring devices to create a complete picture of their activity by 2023. They have also agreed with the taskforce to publish annual monitoring data to help reduce their use.
“Recent data from the Environment Agency, published just last year, clearly showed the challenge we face when it found all English rivers failed to meet standards for pollution due to sewage discharges and agricultural and industrial chemicals in their water.
“I am pleased the taskforce has been set up and the government is committed to working with Philip Dunne and other MPs, who support robust action on water pollution. His bill has my full support.
Further information is available at https://www.sas.org.uk/EndSewagePollution-SewageBill