10 Mar 22
Ofwat declares the ‘frequent use of storm overflows’ cannot continue
UK River at sunset

In writing recently to England’s water companies, Ofwat’s interim Chief Executive David Black explained that “the roll out of comprehensive monitoring has revealed the frequent use of storm overflows as part of the day-to-day operation of the wastewater system”, adding that “this cannot continue”.


The letter expressed significant concerns that the sector was not meeting its obligations or public expectations on the safe treatment and return of wastewater to the environment.

Highlighting that the upcoming Environmental Act is to introduce new storm overflow monitoring and reporting duties, Black suggests that reducing harm from storm overflows will require sustained actions addressing the root causes of the issue - and that there is nothing in the regulatory regime that prevents companies from tackling these issues immediately.

Water companies are already investing in a variety of successful wastewater network monitoring projects and are focussed on tackling the problem head on.

For example, HWM is working with Thames Water to install thousands of SonicSens 3 ultrasonic depth sensors as part of an ambitious Sewer Depth Monitoring project.

Through the use of ultrasonic technology, SonicSens 3 measures the level of wastewater in a chamber, providing an effective early warning of blockages within the network.

The benefit of using ultrasonic technology is that SonicSens 3 is installed within the chamber but avoids contact with its environment.  This lack of contact with the contents of the sewer lowers the requirement for maintenance of the SonicSens 3 devices.

ATEX-certified, SonicSens 3 is compatible with a range of HWM data loggers, and as such, supports a variety of level monitoring applications, including CSO, blockage monitoring, incident prevention and reservoir level monitoring.


For more information on SonicSens 3, and to download the datasheet, please click here.


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