HC Deb 12 January 2004 vol 416 cc498-9W
Mr. Oaten

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures can be taken to alleviate the contamination from sewers and septic tanks which take place after groundwater flooding. [146227]

Mr. Morley

The Environment Agency works closely with local authorities, water companies and other groups to ensure that the effects of flooding are, as far as possible, minimised. Proper maintenance and siting of sewers and septic tanks, and monitoring of groundwater levels, can help reduce the risks, though during a flood event itself there is little that can practically be done apart from ensuring that any sewage pumping does not contribute to contamination, that the situation is properly monitored, and that those affected are informed of the situation and risks. The Department has been working with the Environment Agency and others to produce a groundwater protection code of practice on septic tanks and other non-mains sewerage systems and public consultation on a draft will commence shortly.

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