New data reveals Thames Water spent more than £4.7 million in Oxfordshire, and more than £30 million across their network in the last financial year, on tankers used to clean up sewage spills in roads, gardens, and homes.

An Environmental Information Request submitted by the Liberal Democrats found the amount of money spent by the utility company on clearing sewage overflows.

The figure includes tankers used to clear sewage spills caused by burst pipes, broken pumps, and overwhelmed sewage systems.

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Layla Moran, parliamentary candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon, has worked closely with a number of local communities who have been affected by this issue, with residents in Lower Radley reporting issues with blocked drains for almost three years.

The blockages caused sewage to overflow during periods of heavy rain and flooded roads, gardens, and homes earlier this year.

Ms Moran raised this issue a number of times with Thames Water, but she claims that so far insufficient action has been taken, and householders are said to have endured noisy tankers pumping away the sewage, rather than fixing the problem.

Oxford Mail:

Ms Moran said: “This staggering figure shows just how misguided Thames Water’s investment strategy is.

"Rather than addressing the route of the problem and fixing infrastructure when it breaks, they are leaving sewage to overflow and then spending millions of pounds to clean up their own mess.

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“Oxfordshire’s waterways are a vital part of many local people’s lives - rowers, hikers, dog walkers and swimmers should be enjoying our local environment this summer, not fearing it.

“We need urgent reform of our water companies."

Ms Moran is standing against Conservatives' Vinay Raniga, Labour's Stephen Webb, Green's Cheryl Briggs and Reform UK's James Gunn in the upcoming general election.

A spokeswoman for Thames Water said: “We have an ambitious business plan for the next five years to help us meet our customers’ priorities which include maintaining safe high quality drinking water, ensuring security of water supplies, delivering further environmental improvements, and building greater resilience to help us address an ageing asset base, climate change and population growth.  

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“While all discharges are unacceptable, the sewage system was historically designed in this way, to relieve pressure and prevent overflow into people’s homes.

"We appreciate how much waterways are loved and enjoyed by everyone, and we are committed to minimising our impact on the environment, but we can’t do it alone.

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