HC Deb 17 March 1997 vol 292 cc444-5W
Mr. Spearing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which bodies have a duty to ensure that the structure and operation of all drains and sewers, hitherto in public ownership, are maintained to a standard that minimises the risks to public and environmental health; who issues standards for those operations; how they are monitored; and which bodies are charged with monitoring the contents of sewage effluent with particular reference to changes in the volumes of bacteria or viruses prejudicial to human and animal health. [20021]

Mr. Clappison

All sewerage undertakers have a statutory responsibility, enforceable by the Secretary of State or the Director General of Water Services, to maintain all public sewers to ensure their area is effectually drained. No trade effluent may be discharged to a public sewer without the consent of the sewerage undertaker who may impose strict conditions on the discharge. It is an offence if such a discharge is made to the sewer without consent or any other matter is discharged which may be dangerous, a nuisance or likely to cause injury to health. Responsibility for any public health matters arising from sewers initially rests with the environmental health department of the local authority.