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River water quality

The River Great Ouse next to Bedford Wastewater Treatment Works. The works is out of sight to the left.

There's more than 3,300 kilometres of rivers and the UK's only wetland national park - the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads in our region, each contain a wide variety of plants and animals, support tourism and improve our quality of life.

We’ve invested heavily in improving water recycling treatment. Our environmental regulator and the quality of the recycled water that we put back into the environment.

Our aim is to meet the quality measures set by our environmental regulator, the Environment Agency and to protect the watercourses of our region but unlike the drinking water processes, the water recycling network is an open system and can be affected by:

  • Sudden increases in the amount of water we receive, for example due to a storm.
  • Inappropriate items and materials put into the sewers, for example fats, oils and greases.
  • Trade effluent of a type or volume being discharged into our network without prior consent.

Compliance failures can also be the result of a process or human error. If there’s a compliance problem at one of our water recycling centres, a site-specific plan is drawn up which sets down the actions and deadlines that will be taken. Performance against that plan is monitored regularly. It should be noted that most breaches of consent conditions rarely have an impact on the environment, and any impacts that do occur are normally temporary.


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Registered in England No. 2366656. Registered Office: Lancaster House, Lancaster Way, Ermine Business Park, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. PE29 6XU