HC Deb 20 May 1981 vol 5 cc119-20W
Mr. Campbell-Savours

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is satisfied that the money allocated to the sewerage infrastructure renewal programme is adequate.

Mr. Giles Shaw

There is no national sewerage renewal programme. Regional priorities for capital expenditure are determined by the responsible water authority in accordance with local needs and circumstances, which vary across the country. Sewer dereliction is a particularly acute problem for the North-West water authority which plans a substantial increase in the annual rate of renewals over the next five years, but conditions appear to be less troublesome elsewhere.

One of the consequences of the consultants' inquiry into water charges was to allow a higher capital allocation to the North-West water authority.

Detailed investigations of the extent and condition of sewerage networks are proceeding in all regions, in parallel with a national programme of research by the Water Research Centre into new methods of renovation and renewal. As data accumulates from this work renewal needs may be more easily quantified, but it will be, some years before a more reliable picture can be obtained.