In England and Wales, discharges to inland freshwater, coastal water, groundwater and relevant territorial waters are regulated under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 (EPR).

According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs “water discharge activities” cover the discharge or entry to surface waters which are controlled. Such water discharge activities include both those activities that require a permit, and those activities that are unlawful, for instance causing pollution to surface water, whether deliberate or accidental.

This organisation understands that any discharge of chemical, solids or even heat to a watercourse constitutes pollution which can cause serious damage to aquatic life and to the environment and may take many months to clear. Even small quantities of chemicals and suspended solids can cause serious damage. In addition many surface waters are also used for abstraction for public supply or for industrial use.

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