HC Deb 28 March 2003 vol 402 cc477-8W
Norman Baker

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to reduce the incidence of eutrophication in rivers. [104545]

Mr. Morley

On 27 June 2002,Official Report columns 1005–06W, the Secretary of State announced the identification of a further 25 river bodies in England as Sensitive Areas (Eutrophic) under the Urban Waste Water Treatment (England and Wales) Regulations.

As a result discharges from relevant sewage treatment works to these areas will receive more stringent treatment by the end of 2008. This highest level of treatment involves reducing the amount of phosphorus in waste water discharges to limit eutrophication.

This announcement brought the total number of river and freshwater sensitive areas in England to 100 where further measures are being taken to protect and improve these waters.

Further control of industrial discharges to limit nutrient pollution that can contribute to eutrophication is applied by the Environment Agency through discharge consents.

Also, Defra is currently undertaking a review to identify the most cost effective action to reduce agricultural diffuse pollution of water and help to tackle eutrophication and other environmental problems in rivers and other waters.