Top of the Poops
A Petri Dish for E.Coli

Here are all the CSOs in England and Wales that 'overflowed' in 2021 - dumping raw or minimally treated sewage into fragile chalk streams, rivers, onto beaches and into shellfish areas

Each colour represents a different Water Company, the size of each dot relates to how long each overflow was polluting

The figures, supplied by the water companies themselves, understate the problem, as the data is poorly collected by the Water Companies, with monitoring defective or in many cases completely absent. Many recordings of data don't seem to be associated with a valid permit, so it is impossible to know where they are.

Sewage everywhere

There is sewage overflowing into rivers in almost every constituency across England and Wales. A very few miss out, simply because they don't have any CSOs - Combined Sewage Overflows - that mix rainwater and toilet sewage. This then flows into the rivers, creating a horrible environment for fish and other creatures - it poisons them, and the rivers die. You'll find all sorts of unsanitary sanitary products floating downstream.

Top of The Poops - Constituencies

1. Preseli Pembrokeshire 79,501 hours
2. Carmarthen East and Dinefwr 71,831 hours
3. Dwyfor Meirionnydd 68,545 hours
4. Torridge and West Devon 58,768 hours
5. Penrith and The Border 51,626 hours
6. Workington 44,453 hours
7. Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire 43,983 hours
8. Central Devon 43,505 hours
9. Skipton and Ripon 42,989 hours
10. Ceredigion 40,169 hours
Swimming in sewage

Most, if not actually all, of the beaches and designated coastal bathing locations around England and Wales are regular recipients of a good layer of sewage.

Water companies have a duty to report on the summer bathing season separately, and this made grim reading in 2022. For more details check out Surfers Against Sewage Water Quality Report 2022

Top of The Poops - Beaches

1. Morecambe South 8,268 hours
2. New Brighton 7,743 hours
3. Southport, St Annes Pier, St. Annes North and Blackpool South 6,539 hours
4. Haverigg, Walney Biggar Bank, Walney West Shore, and Walney Sandy Gap 6,522 hours
5. St Annes 6,317 hours
6. Seascale 6,293 hours
7. Allonby 6,052 hours
8. PLYMOUTH HOE (EAST) 5,598 hours
9. Morfa Nefyn 4,300 hours
10. Rhyl 4,262 hours
Rivers & Streams

Of the 4700 rivers in England, few escape from sewage dumping

On the image, you can see a map, in blue of all the rivers that escaped sewage in 2021, and in brown all the rivers that received more than 24 hours of sewage dumps.

The 1100 or so rivers in Wales didn't escape, unfortunately, but Dwr Cymru don't include the information in their reports to enable us to draw the map very easily. Perhaps they will include it in 2022?

Top of The Poops - Rivers

1. River Severn 28,741 hours
2. River Calder 27,900 hours
3. River Aire 21,139 hours
4. River Derwent 17,695 hours
5. River Tamar 17,360 hours
6. River Ouse 17,315 hours
7. River Trent 16,743 hours
8. Unknown 16,631 hours
9. River Teifi 15,735 hours
10. River Eden 15,623 hours

Top of the Poops in the Media

Article image for BBC News
BBC News

Yorkshire rivers among worst for sewage discharge, figures show

Feb 23, 2023

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ITV News

Rhyl and Morfa Nefyn among the worst areas for sewage pollution

Feb 23, 2023

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Birmingham Live

Top of the poops - Beloved Midlands river pumped with more sewage than any other

Feb 20, 2023

Article image for The Mirror
The Mirror

UK's 20 most polluted rivers revealed in Top of the Poops league table

Feb 16, 2023

Article image for inews

Only 6% of Britain’s rivers on course to be healthy by 2027 as UK’s firms pump more raw sewage

Feb 10, 2023

Article image for Surfers Against Sewage
Surfers Against Sewage

Water Quality Report 2022

Oct 30, 2022

Article image for Central Bylines
Central Bylines

Sewage central: how our region is being affected by the water scandal

Aug 30, 2022

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Lynn News

Sewage dumped into West Norfolk rivers by Anglian Water more than 1,000 times in 2021

Aug 26, 2022