Policy paper

Sewage treatment in the UK (2002)

A more recent version of this report has now been published.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Sewage Treatment in the UK

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email defra.helpline@defra.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


* Read the 2012 report

Proper collection, treatment and discharge of waste water, and correct disposal or re-use of the resulting sludge helps to protect and improve water quality in the UK.

This document describes what the UK has done to improve waste water treatment and meet its commitments under the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive. It provides a general description of the present situation, monitoring and investment, and explains how individuals can help to reduce water pollution.

It also explains how sewage is treated in the UK and what action is being taken to improve this. It fulfils the UK’s obligations under Article 16 of the European Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive to produce periodically national situation reports on the collection and treatment of waste water, and the re-use or disposal of the by-product of this treatment, sewage sludge.

Further information

Published 26 March 2011