A Tory MP has appeared to blame people’s home drainage systems for tonnes of raw sewage being dumped into the sea in Cornwall.
Mark Spencer, who last year voted to allow water firms to carry on dumping sewage in rivers, urged people to check their plumbing during an interview on BBC News.
The environment minister was grilled on the issue after horrifying videos of sewage turning a Cornwall beach’s water murky brown surfaced on social media on Sunday.
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Spencer blamed the flow of sewage into St Agnes beach on huge downpours of rain flowing out of storm overflows, then called on people to “check where your down right goes, your water spout off your roof, it’s very important it goes into a top water drain.”
Doctor William Stableforth also shared a video of brown sewage water pouring onto Cornwall’s St Agnes beach, calling on people to report it to South West Water. Sharing the video with the water company, he wrote: “Shit pouring into the sea. This is a crime. Our seas don’t belong to you and your shareholders for profit.”
Spencer was among Tory MPs to vote to reject an amendment to the Environment Bill that would stop sewage being dumped into rivers. The amendment would have imposed a duty on water companies to “take all reasonable steps to ensure untreated sewage is not discharged from storm overflows”.