September 1, 2018
Burnham-On-Sea MP's sea water quality bill to be debated in November

A parliamentary Bill co-sponsored by Burnham-On-Sea MP James Heappey which aims to crack down on the amount of sewage entering our seas is to be debated in November.

The Bathing Waters Bill aims to introduce penalties on water companies if sewage is found to have been pumped into the sea.

The Bill, which has been endorsed by Surfers Against Sewage and The Angling Trust, has been passed by MPs to a second reading which has now been given a scheduled date of Friday 23rd November.

Over the past few years, Burnham-On-Sea has struggled with the quality of its bathing water and Mr Heappey has been working with local groups to improve it while pushing for a better understanding of what's causing the water to be rated as poor.

These fines from water companies would be used for three things to prevent contamination. These would be: providing farmers with funds to store water in attenuation ponds to slow down the water flow, creating more lakes and reservoirs, and providing water butts in residential properties.

Mr Heappey says the measures would help Burnham-On-Sea to build on the work it has already done to tackle the issues.

He told "I am pleased to support this Bill as I know a lot of hard work has gone in to significantly improve the water quality in Burnham over the past few years."

"The behaviour of local residents has improved dramatically but we needed to make some big changes with regards to farms and these measures would help them to do all they can to help. Burnham-On-Sea is a fantastic place to visit and we want to make sure our water is of the highest standard so we can provide the best experience we can as a seaside town."

Surfers Against Sewage added: "This Bill could help provide a complete package of water quality protection and could help deliver the final steps to relieve pressure on the sewerage network. Pollution incidents are readily identified, but further action is often lacking."

The Bill has been put forward by MP Scott Mann, supported by Richard Benyon, Ben Bradshaw, Robert Courts, Steve Double, James Heappey, Craig Mackinlay, Dame Cheryl Gillan, Sheryll Murray, Justine Greening, Tim Loughton and David Morris.


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