Yorkshire Water makes staggering £241.4 million profit despite dumping sewage in Harrogate and Knaresborough’s rivers


New analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed Britain’s nine water companies made a total £2.8bn in combined operating profits last year. Yorkshire Water, which dumps sewage in local rivers/coastline, made an operating profit of £241 million last year. Figures published last year in the media confirm scale of the problem, with raw sewage discharged into rivers within the district 3,800 times. The water companies making billions in profit were responsible for nearly 400,000 sewage dumping events in 2020 alone, according to the Environment Agency. 

The Liberal Democrats are demanding a ‘Sewage Tax’ of 16% on water companies to create an emergency fund for cleaning up rivers.

Cllr Hannah Gostlow, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Scriven Park said:

"Rivers should be safe for sustaining wildlife, swimming and leisure. They are a precious source of drinking water for some. So why are they filled with raw sewage and human waste, destroying them for decades to come? It is disgraceful to see a company which pollutes our local rivers with sewage make so much money last year. I think Yorkshire Water should pay to clean up the mess they make here. This Conservative Government is once again too slow to act and doing nothing to protect our local rivers.


It is outrageous to see Conservative MPs betraying our local communities and environment in Parliament. Our rivers are being polluted on a daily basis by water companies, showing a complete disregard for our environment. Enough is enough. We need action before our local rivers and becks are ruined for good. We have launched a petition calling for Yorkshire Water to clean up its mess”

You can sign it here 

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey MP said: “Given their poor record on sewage, the water industry’s staggering profit numbers will alarm millions of people who care about our environment. A big chunk of these profits should have been reinvested to protect Britain’s streams and rivers, instead of letting disgusting sewage dumps continue. The whole thing stinks. Our precious rivers, beaches and chalk streams are under threat from these sewage dumps continue. The whole thing stinks.


“Our precious rivers, beaches and chalk streams are under threat from these sewage offences. Conservative Ministers are sitting on their hands and just letting water companies get away with it. It is time to act. The water companies should pay to clean up their mess and Ministers should pass the laws to make it happen”


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