An interactive map shows the shocking impact of raw sewage on Britain's waterways.
The map, created by The Rivers Trust, also reveals that Newcastle was one of the cities worst affected in the country.
Tourist hot spots across Northumberland such as Beadnell, Seahouses, and Craster have also been badly impacted by the faecal fiasco.
On the map, brown circles represent 'storm overflows' which are used to prevent flooding during heavy rainfall. These overflows discharge rainwater mixed with raw sewage straight into rivers or the sea, bypassing the wastewater treatment process.
These devices are only supposed to take place under 'exceptional circumstances' however the Environment Agency said that water companies allowed more than 400,000 sewage discharges into streams, rivers and the sea, lasting three million hours, compared to 293,000 hours the previous year.
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Last week, Conservative MPs sparked anger after voting against an amendment to the Environment Bill which would have forced water companies to take measures to stop using these 'combined sewer overflows' thus preventing pollution.
The House of Lords have since forced a climbdown by the Government and the Environment Bill to be sent back to the Commons where the Government will table its own amendment..
Water contaminated by sewage can make people seriously ill as it could contain bacteria such as salmonella and E.coli. Hepatits A and leptospirosis have also been linked to dirty sewage water when swallowed.
According to the data, in Lynemouth, Northumberland, a storm overflow spilled 136 times for a total of 2,459 hours into the River Lyne. One in Amble spilled 72 times for a total of 590 hours.
Similarly, a storm overflow in the the picturesque fishing village of Boulmer spilled 48 times for a total of 268 hours. In Craster, the same type of device overflowed 74 times for a total of 41 hours.
In the popular tourist spot Beadnell Harbour where people regularly swim and surf, a storm overflow spilled 20 times for a total of 52 hours. Even the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, the much-loved Christian pilgrimage site famed for its beauty and tranquillity has sewage discharging into the North Sea.
Closer to Newcastle, a storm overflow in Howdon, North Tyneside spilled into the River Tyne 183 times for a grim total of 2,498 hours. Similarly, Lockhaugh Sewage Disposal Works in Rowlands Gill, Gateshead, discharged into the River Derwent 141 times for a total of 2,166 hours. Along with Cardiff, Sheffield and Birmingham, Newcastle was one of the worst affected cities.
A spokesperson for Northumbrian Water said: â€œIn the last Bathing Water classifications released by DEFRA, 33 of the North Eastâ€™s 34 designated bathing waters achieved ratings of either â€˜Excellentâ€™ or â€˜Goodâ€™ â€“ the highest possible classifications. This represents a leading position nationally.
â€œWe have invested heavily in upgrades to our wastewater network in the last two decades and beyond, which have played an important part in these results, and we continue to do so. More than Â£80m of investment is targeted towards improvements related to storm overflows in our current 2020-25 operating period.
â€œAt times of heavy rainfall all water companies use storm overflows as a relief valve on our sewer network to protect the homes of customers and the environment from sewer flooding. Such discharges happen with both permission and scrutiny from the Environment Agency.
â€œDuring and after heavy rainfall conditions, storm overflows discharge what is mostly rainwater, mixed with some of the contents of our sewer network, from the area affected.
â€œWhile studies in the region have shown the contents of these discharges to be as little as less than one per cent wastewater, we know that they can be very visible due to items such as wet wipes and sanitary products. The sheer volume of such items means some can be forced out of the network, despite many of our overflows having some form of screening to catch them inside the pipe.
â€œThis is a reminder of what can happen when items such as wipes and period products are flushed down the toilet â€“ as they do not disintegrate and can cause blockages in the system and also take up capacity in the network.
â€œWe have installed sewer level monitors at over 98% of our storm overflows for pollution prevention and operational reasons, and will be at 100% by March 2022. Through this monitoring we ensure storm overflows are operating as they are designed to do in storm conditions. This also gives us the opportunity to respond quickly to any issues, for example sending out teams to clean any beaches impacted.â€
Further down the coast in Teesside, an investigation has been launched by the Environment Agency after hundreds of crabs and other sea creatures were washed up dead. These have have also been found as far up as Seaton Carew and Seaham.
The Rivers Trust said: â€œA fantastic way to help save our rivers is to join your local Rivers Trust. The Rivers Trust have over 60 spread across the UK and Ireland, and they're always on the lookout for passionate people who care about rivers. Find yours here.'
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