The next Labour government will put water companies under special measures. We will strengthen regulation so law-breaking water bosses face criminal charges, and give the regulator new powers to block the payment of any bonuses until water bosses have cleaned up their filth.

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Between 15 May and 30 September last year, sewage was dumped into designated bathing waters more than 5,000 times. There were an average of 825 sewage spills every single day into England’s waterways in 2022. In the north west, United Utilities discharged untreated sewage almost 70,000 times last year, while Severn Trent Water discharged sewage through storm overflows 44,765 times in the same period. In just a single eight-day stretch, Southern Water dumped more than 3,700 hours’ worth of sewage at 83 bathing water beaches.

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