Thank you for contacting me regarding water quality.
I too am disappointed by the Environment Agency's report on water quality in the South West. I speak regularly to officials at South West Water who assure me they are part way through a comprehensive action plan to improve the region's water quality. This has not been included in the EA report, but I will be holding their feet to the fire going forward to ensure SWW’s promises are turned into action.
As a keen open water swimmer, I too appreciate to importance of water quality and the urgent need to improve it. I am therefore pleased that Government has a comprehensive plan to significantly reduce water pollution.
Regarding pollution from sewage discharges, the Government has made clear to water companies that they must significantly reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows as a priority. The Environment Act 2021 also includes a duty on water companies to monitor the quality of water and secure a progressive reduction in the adverse impact of discharges from storm overflows. I hope this will bring real pressure to water companies to proactively reduce the pollution of our rivers and watercourses and I will continue to follow developments closely.