An Oxford MP has slammed Thames Water following a sewage crisis, calling their actions "environmental vandalism". 

Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon Layla Moran said it was "shameful that water companies are allowed to get away with this environmental vandalism" after new data on the rate of sewage dumping. 

She also said the government was doing "far too little" to address the problem.

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"We are seeing systematic failings across the board at Thames Water, and it is high time the government stepped in," Ms Moran said.

Ms Moran said data showed that five Thames Water Sewage Works in Oxfordshire have been discharging sewage into the River Thames for a combined total of 10,952 hours over the last six months.

She said Clanfield Sewage Treatment Works (STW) in West Oxfordshire was the worst culprit with sewage "gushing into the river for 3,721 hours over the last 6 months".

"This equates to sewage overflowing for over 20 hours every day," she said.

Ms Moran said nine in 10 constituencies in England had seen a rise in the duration of sewage dumping.

Ms Moran said sewage was dumped into rivers in Oxfordshire for 56,068 hours in 2023 - a 297 per cent rise in the duration of sewage spills compared to the previous year.

“It is all well and good announcing these new bathing sites but without action to improve water quality they will just join the list of sewage-saturated bathing sites that this government presides over," she said, 

“We need much tougher restrictions on water companies around sewage dumping in waters that affect bathing sites.

"Ultimately the government needs to step in and transform water companies into public benefit companies, to ensure they finally stop putting profit over the environment.

"This scandal needs to end now.”

A Thames Water spokesperson said the organisation appreciated how loved waterways were. 

"We are committed to minimising our impact on the environment, but we can't do it alone," they said. 

"Farming, industry, livestock and more extreme weather also play a role in river health." 

The spokesperson said all discharges were unacceptable but explained that the sewage system had been designed historically to "relieve pressure and prevent overflow into people’s homes".

"We have published plans to upgrade 250 of our sites across the entire region, including our Clanfield sewage treatment works," the spokesperson said.

"In most cases this will increase capacity and reduce the number of necessary discharges.

“More investment is needed across the entire sector, as infrastructure ages and demand on it increases.

"That’s why we’ve asked for increased investment in the next regulatory cycle between 2025-2030.

The spokesperson said transparency was important to the company, pointing to the real time data map on the website as well as additional monitors.