HC Deb 02 December 1997 vol 302 c111W
Mr. Dafis

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what are the legal responsibilities of water and sewerage companies in respect of the control of rats. [18501]

Angela Eagle

There is no specific duty on water and sewerage undertakers in relation to the control of rats in sewers. However, all sewerage undertakers have programmes to control and reduce the number of rats in their systems. This includes the use of baits in pumping stations and air vents to stop rats entering the system and within sewers. In addition, I understand that the water industry will be undertaking some research into the issue of rats in sewers early next year. Finally, under Section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, local authorities have a duty to inspect their area for statutory nuisances such asany premises in such a state as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance.