Storm overflow measures to reduce harm

Date: 06/04/21 | In: Blog

As you can imagine, we welcomed news that the Government has introduced legal measures to reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows in a bid to reduce the harm they can cause to waterways and wildlife.

Storm overflows play a key role in preventing the sewer network from becoming overburdened with sewage and rainfall in the event of wet weather. They provide a release for diluted wastewater in rivers. Unfortunately, the reliance on storm overflows has increased in the last few years as a result of an increased number of annual rainfall events and a wastewater infrastructure that is slowly becoming overwhelmed by an escalating population.

Forming part of a wider agenda to build a greener environment following the pandemic, the measures will see water companies having to reduce their dependence on storm overflows. As such, the Government hopes this will translate into a dramatic reduction in the levels of sewage in UK waterways.

Reporting storm overflow results

Part of the measures places a clear duty on WASCs to publish data on their annual storm overflow operations. They will also have to work closely with the Storm Overflows Taskforce which was established in September 2020 to bring key stakeholders together to ensure progress. As part of this Taskforce, they have already had to commit to increasing the number of overflows they will improve on in the next five years. An additional 800 overflows will be investigated and almost 800 improved between 2020 and 2025.

Commenting on the measures, Dave Walker, commercial director at Detectronic said: “Helping water companies to prevent spills and pollutions, wherever they may occur, has been our objective since we founded Detectronic. It’s what we do best.

“The best way for any water company to ensure they comply with these measures to reduce harm is by implementing smart network monitoring. Having strategic monitoring and predictive analytics in place will facilitate the ability to identify any issues before they arise.”

Continues Dave: “External flooding in trunk sewers is a common issue. The sewer network has to stand up to so many challenges from natural weather events to manmade problems. It’s inevitable that at certain times it will simply no longer be able to cope and flooding will occur. Being able to predict a problem well in advance of it occurring is, of course, the key. And to achieve that, you need consistent, robust and highly accurate data. That’s where we come in.

“We’re already working with several UK water companies to provide bespoke monitoring solutions that are specifically designed to gather, analyse and deliver millimetric accuracy data. This, in turn, ensures our clients have a complete understanding of their wastewater network 24 hours a day.”

Interested in finding out more about how we can support your water company to comply with the new storm overflows measures? Feel free to call us on 01282 449124 or email for a free, no obligation consultation.