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Anglian Water bosses apologise after pumping raw sewage into Lincolnshire rivers – with highest incidents reported in Manby and Donington

Water company bosses say they are working hard to reduce sewage spills into our waterways after newly released figures showed the scale of the issue.

Anglian Water says it is ‘disappointed’ to see the number of hours in which its networks pump sewage into Lincolnshire’s rivers and drains increased but has promised to invest £1billion in storm overflows to tackle the issue.

The Environment Agency (EA) has released the 2023 figures which show the frequency and duration of spills from storm overflows in England. The health of our waterways has become an important topic nationally with campaigners calling on the authorities to clean up their act.

Sewage spills have become an increasing problem around the country
Sewage spills have become an increasing problem around the country

National figures show a 54% increase in the number of sewage spills compared to 2022, and a 13% increase compared to 2020. But officials have stated that rainfall was much higher in 2023 – which was the sixth wettest year since records began – than in 2022.

An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “We are disappointed to see our spill numbers have increased this year. However we are confident that investments we’ve been making to reduce spills have moved the dial in the right direction and spills would have been considerably higher without it.

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“It is important to acknowledge the exceptionally wet weather we had late last year, which meant that 70% of our spills were in Q4 alone and in stark comparison to the extremely dry year in 2021, as climate change continues to result in more extreme weather events.”

The EA - which has come under fire for the collapsed river bank at Crowland and Cowbit Washes that is still affecting the River Welland in Spalding – refused our request for a local comment on the sewage spills in Lincolnshire and Rutland.

Latest figures show that Manby, near Louth, witnessed some of the highest levels in the county – with 138 spills recorded for 1,819.65 hours into Long Eau.

Donington Water Recycling Centre pumped sewage 122 times for a total of 1,332.77 hours into Mill Drain and Metherington recorded 114 spills for 1,467.02 hours.

Fulbeck station, near Grantham, recorded spills on 114 occasions for 1,549.23 hours into The Beck. The Little Bytham station spilt 90 times for a total of 801.25 hours into a tributary of the West Glen River.

Here are other spillages in our area:

South Holland

- Crowland: 59 times for 117.63 hours into Green Bank

- Sutton Bridge: 55 times for 83.85 hours into the River Nene

South Kesteven:

- Long Bennington: 104 times for 1,526.05 hours into a tributary of the River Witham

- Manthorpe Mill: 60 times for 82.85 hours into Running Furrows Drain

At Oakham, there were 72 spills for 3,293 hours into Rutland Water and Barleythorpe Brook and Easton-on-the-Hill, near Stamford, had recorded 33 spills over 179.15 hours into the Easton Brook.

You can explore the full data using a map from the Environment Agency here.

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