5-speed listening (UK Sewage Crisis - Level 1)

Raw sewage keeps swimmers away from UK beaches






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The UK is experiencing a sewage crisis. Water companies poured toilet waste into rivers and seas for more than 300,000 hours in 2022. Swimmers got sick in the sea. People complained about the terrible smell on beaches and the brown sea water. A poll about people's opinions on water quality found a quarter of swimmers might not swim in the sea because of health risks. Last week, 57 people got diarrhoea after swimming in the sea at a triathlon.

England and Wales are the only countries with privatized water services. They sold their water to private companies in 1987. These companies promised to make services better. However, things are much worse. The companies did not spend enough money. They did not stop leaks or modernize systems. A campaigner said the water companies have failed to create a quality system. He blamed the UK government for not acting.

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