Candidates in the General Election have responded to data revealing the amount of sewage dumped into a St Albans river.

Data from Sewage Map has found that since March 20, 1853 hours (at time of publication) has been consecutively pumped into the River Ver, a chalk stream that runs through St Albans.

The Environment Agency had previously found that in 2023, more sewage was pumped into England's rivers than any previous year, something that Water UK admitted was "unacceptable".

Issues have been present at the River Ver for several years now and earlier this year, signs of potential sewage pollution were found in the river.

Former St Albans MP and Liberal Democrat candidate at this years General Election, Daisy Cooper said: ''As the MP for St Albans , I have challenged the big water companies that have dumped sewage in our chalk streams. I’ve also pressed them to work with landowners and voluntary groups such as the Friends of River Ver to protect the precious eco-system that exists here.

''Local swimmers, dog-walkers and environmentalists are rightly outraged by this scandal.
''In St Albans, voters have a clear choice at the general election: more raw sewage dumping with the Conservatives or tough action with the Lib Dems.''

Ms Cooper has also called for water regulator Ofwat to be replaced, calling it 'toothless'.

Read more:

River Ver pollution 'unacceptable' say Thames Water

Daisy Cooper: Rivers are paying the price

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Her Conservative rival for the seat Matthew Spencer also weighed in on the data, saying: "The government is working hard to improve the quality of our rivers and streams. As part of the Environment Act, all water companies are now legally obliged to have and implement sewage discharge reduction plans.

"Nevertheless, too much sewage is still going into our rivers, as MP I will work tirelessly to protect our precious chalk stream river Ver and hold the water companies to account."

A spokesperson for water supplier Affinity said: "Affinity Water are a clean water supplier which means we do not manage sewage in our area.  However, we recognise we have a key role in protecting and encouraging the ecological health of our rivers within our areas.

"We are continuing our activity and running campaigns which work with customers, communities, local and central government, other water companies and environmental groups plus the agricultural industry to increase public awareness and understanding on what affects our rivers and what we all need to do to improve them.  "

In St Albans, Mr Spencer and Ms Cooper are joined on the ballot paper by Sophia Adams Bhatti (Labour), Simon Grover (Green Party), Stewart Sattlerly (Social Democratic Party) and Sam Woodruff (Reform UK).