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Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps are being taken to ensure that back-up pumps are available in circumstances where primary sewage pumps fail and effluent is discharged into rivers, watercourses or the open sea; and if he will make a statement. (134077)

Under the Water Resources Act 1991, the Environment Agency requires all sewage pumping stations to have duty pumps and standby pumps that are capable of pumping the received flow in the event of a pump failure. This is a condition of consent to discharge, and it is the sewerage undertaker’s responsibility to ensure that their pumps are fully operational at all times.