Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan Consultation

Closed 24 Jul 2023

Opened 12 Jun 2023


The government has set out its intention to ensure action is taken to address all storm overflows from water companies wholly or mainly in England. This follows an announcement from the Secretary of State on 20 February 2023 requiring individual action plans on all storm overflows, including coastal and estuarine overflows. We are now consulting further on the expansion of the Storm Overflow Discharge Reduction Plan to cover coastal and estuarine waters, which had not been specifically included in the plan as published on 26 August 2022.  

The Storm Overflows Discharge Reduction Plan prioritises action to ensure that storm overflows that impact protected habitats or designated bathing waters are addressed first. The plan sets out that if we can go faster, we will (page 7). The plan will be reviewed by 2027 to allow the government to assess national targets to ensure they remain ambitious, affordable and deliverable (page 14). The plan notes this will allow us to establish if companies can go further and faster to achieve the targets in the plan without having a disproportionate impact on consumer bills. 

Why your views matter

This consultation will start on 12 June 2023 and will close on 24 July 2023. This is a 6 week consultation.  

We encourage responses though Defra’s Citizen Space consultation hub, an online consultation tool. Consultations receive a high level of interest across many sectors and using the online tool assists our analysis of responses, enabling more efficient and effective consideration of issues. The consultation can be completed online via Citizen Space

However, responses can be sent by email. We must receive these responses by the closing date. In your response please state: Your name; your email address; your type of organisation and whether you would like your response to be confidential.  

Please send responses to the contact email above.  

If you have any queries on the consultation or need a hard copy of the document please email or write to us.  

Consultation principles  

This consultation is being conducted in line with the Cabinet Office “Consultation Principles”.  

If you have any complaints about the consultation process, please address them by email to:

What happens next

Following this consultation, we will publish a summary of responses and a government response.


  • Environmental campaigners
  • All Marine Users
  • Coastal Members of Parliament
  • Coastal local authorities
  • National Park Authorities
  • Coastal Management sector
  • Ports and Harbour Authorities and Estuaries
  • Water/water Industry sector
  • Angling Organisations and Trade
  • Fishing Focus individual recipients
  • Water Abstractors
  • Environmental professional services
  • Commercial Fisheries Organisations
  • Fisheries Producer Organisations
  • Water suppliers
  • Shellfish Cultivators
  • Environmental Health Officers
  • Beach Users
  • Stakeholders


  • Natural environment
  • Biodiversity
  • Flooding
  • Marine
  • Marine Conservation Zones
  • Shellfish
  • Water quality
  • Bathing waters
  • Sewerage
  • Local environments
  • Pollution Sector
  • Domestic Waste Water Systems
  • Inland waterways
  • Watercourse maintenance
  • Water Act
  • Marine Conservation
  • Water Industry charging
  • Water Industry licencing
  • Marine fisheries
  • Nitrates and watercourses
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Shellfish
  • Inland waterways