Information for media and government

This page is aimed at the media and those in national and local government.  The media has a really important role to play in informing people about pollution and what can be done to prevent it.  Members of Parliament, County and Local Councillors can provide important and much needed leadership on these matters. 

Please contact us via the enquiry form if you have information to share


UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) was set up by 21 water and sewerage undertakers in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  It helps deliver a common research programme for the UK Water Industry.  Work is often carried out in collaboration with government departments and regulators including the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) and The Environment Agency, (EA).


The research programme
is currently divided into the following topics: drinking water quality and health; toxicology; water resources; climate change; wastewater treatment and sewerage; sewage sludge; water mains and services; sewerage; leakage and metering; customer and regulatory issues. 

The site has useful news stories from both UKWIR and the wider world of water.


This document contains some key facts and messages that may be of use for anyone preparing any communication material about misconnections.


Defra, see link above, are the UK government department responsible for policy and regulations on environmental, food and rural issues.  Defra’s stated priorities are to grow the rural economy, improve the environment and safeguard animal and plant health.  The National Policy Statement sets out Government policy for the provision of major waste water infrastructure. 

Defra’s plans for future water management are set out in the white paper, Water for Life , published in 2011.

Defra also support Love Your River which is aiming to encourage local communities to take an interest in their local rivers and streams.  There are some free downloadable campaign material available on this site.


Ofwat.gov.uk (The Water Services Regulation Authority) is the economic regulator of the water and sewerage sectors in England and Wales.  It makes sure the companies provide household and business consumers with a good quality service and value for money.  It monitors and compares water company services, scrutinises costs and investment and encourages competition.  They work closely with a wide range of other stakeholders such as the Environment Agency, Drinking Water Inspectorate and the Consumer Council for Water


Natural England  (NE) is the government’s advisor on the natural environment.  It has a role to ensure sustainable stewardship of the land and sea so that people and nature can thrive, adapt and survive intact for future generations to enjoy.  Key responsibilities include managing the English green farming scheme, designating National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, managing national nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

The Water Guide is a handy site with information about the UK water industry and the companies operating within it – their background, contact details and services.  All this is displayed in an easy to read format, all within this one site.

There is also the Water Pollution Guide site, where you can find useful information about the sources of water pollution and how they can be treated.


Yellow Fish has taken place in many parts of the UK and in many countries around the world. It is an active, enjoyable and effective way of raising awareness of the issues of waste and water pollution, and helping make local environments cleaner and healthier places. It involves volunteers stenciling a Yellow Fish symbol beside drains as a reminder that any liquid waste entering these drains may go directly to the nearest stream or river, possibly causing pollution and killing wildlife. Read the yellow fish manual.

Useful documents and further reading.

  • There is an interesting MORI/Ipsos report into public awareness and attitude about misconnections commissioned in 2009
  • Chemicals in Environment briefing note was originally produced for a national stakeholder workshop.  It sets out the current and potential future problems, solutions and approaches to addressing water quality impacts of chemicals as well as useful information about the chemicals of concern.
  • Defra's Tackling pollution from the urban environment  sets out the current problem, including what are considered the major sources of urban diffuse water pollution.  The document was originally written for a broader consultation, now closed, about a strategy to address diffuse water pollution from the built environment.