The Environmental Agency figures have revealed that almost all the rivers in England failed to meet the quality tests for pollution.
Concerns have been raised over the continuous increase in sewage discharge and agricultural chemicals. According to the data which was revealed on Thursday, only 14 per cent of English rivers are of “good” ecological standard.
The Environment Agency data has shown that for the first time no English river achieved good chemical status indicating that pollution from sewage discharge, chemicals and agriculture has heavily impacted the quality of rivers.
Results of the research suggest that the government might fail to ensure that 75 per cent of rivers are rated good by 2027 as promised, as English rivers have not improved in quality since 2016 when the last data was published.
EA chief, Emma Howard Boyd, said: “Water quality has plateaued since 2016, which isn’t good enough. There have been improvements over the last 25 years, for example, wastewater treatment works put 60% less phosphate and 70% less ammonia into the water environment than they did in 1995, but the general upward trend has not continued.”
In 2019, research data revealed that raw sewage was discharged from storm overflows into English rivers for above 1.5m hours by water companies.
The environment minister Rebecca Pow highlighted the need to respond urgently to the data which was revealed on Thursday. Pow said that urgent action was needed to reduce the “impact from storm overflows and other forms of pollution including chemicals and agriculture”.
All single water bodies monitored by the EA in England failed to meet the new chemical standards, which suggest that no water bodies are of “good” ecological standard.