Serious water pollution incidents have doubled in 2011 according to new figures by the Environment Agency.
Although there were slightly fewer incidences of serious industrial pollution, in the water industry the number of pollution incidents nearly doubled from 65 in 2010 to 120 in 2011.
Most occurred within the sewer and water network, but the Environment Agency said this was mainly due to the fact that more incidents were being reported by the water companies themselves.
An agency spokesman said: “Substantial investment by water companies has helped improve water quality in recent decades. We are working with the water industry and Ofwat to ensure that this overall trend continues, particularly given the pressures of population growth and climate change.”
Waste was the main cause of water pollution as our growing population struggles to control industrial waste and sewage. Yet companies are aware of this problem and more UK businesses than ever before have been awarded an ‘A’ grade for their environmental performance. As a reward, well-run enterprises had their regulatory costs cut by £15 million in 2011. Overall those complying with environmental regulations paid up to 70% less for their relevant permits and permissions than businesses that were run badly.
The Environment Agency chairman, Lord Chris Smith, said: “Achieving both economic growth and the protection of the natural environment is not always easy but it can be achieved with hard work and dedication.
“It will not happen without effective regulation of the impact business has on the environment and a commitment from businesses themselves to act as responsible neighbours and good corporate citizens.
“Reassuringly, the latest performance record shows businesses are increasingly recognising there is a value and opportunity in this broader sense of responsibility.”
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