HC Deb 17 September 2004 vol 424 cc1919-20W
Mr. Truswell

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department has taken(a) to assess and (b) to deal with problems created by combined sewer overflows since 1997; and what plans she has for further action.[188901]

Mr. Morley

As part of the five yearly Periodic Reviews of water company price limits, in 1999 and 2004, the Secretary of State has issued guidance to the Office of Water Services (Ofwat) on what is to be achieved by the water industry in England concerning combined sewer overflows and other intermittent discharges.

Within this framework the Environment Agency and water companies identify and assess problematic combined sewer overflows for improvement in the next five years.

Following the Periodic Review in 1999 a programme of around 4,500 problematic overflows are to be improved by 2005. A further programme is proposed for improvement in the next Periodic Review period from 2005 to 2010.