Gloucestershire's three biggest water companies have dismissed concerns of a Bourton councillor regarding river pollution.

Gloucestershire County Councillor Paul Hodgkinson recently voiced his disappointment with the companies who are dumping raw sewage in the county’s rivers.

At a recent meeting between the council’s Rivers Task Group and the county’s three largest water companies, Severn Trent and Wessex Water both admitted they have no plans to ever stop this practice while a third, Thames Water, intends to stop by 2050.

However, a Thames Water spokesperson has said this is far from the full picture.

They said: “Our aim will always be to try and do the right thing for rivers and for the communities who love and value them.

“By working with local partners we’re actively listening to our customers, who want us to do more.

“Our planned investment in our sewer network, for example in Bourton, and upgrading sewage treatment works like Moreton-in-Marsh, will help improve the situation and we are looking carefully at using nature based solutions to address the challenge ahead.”

The spokesman added that the 2050 target mentioned is the company’s date to stop discharge across their whole network however it may not take this long everywhere.

Thames Water has installed over 680 meters of leak-proof lining in the Bourton's sewers to reduce the amount of groundwater infiltrating the pipes and filling them up, which contributes to flooding and sewage discharges.

The spokesman added: “It’s our view that discharges of untreated sewage are simply unacceptable, even when they are legally permitted, and we support the measures in the bill that will reduce storm overflows.

“We’ll work with the government, Ofwat and the Environment Agency to accelerate work to stop untreated discharges being necessary.

“We have a long way to go – and we certainly can’t do it on our own – but the ambition is clear.”

The two other companies have been similarly dismissive of councillor Hodgkinson’s claims.

Severn Trent say they are committed to the Environment Bill, which outlines a to do list for all sectors that impact on river quality

A spokesman said: “We’re committing to complete our actions in a nine-year time frame by 2030, rather than the 25-year target.

“We are working hard to use overflows less and we are investing £100m a year to go even further in improving rivers so that nature can continue to thrive.

“Across Gloucestershire agriculture and land management are the biggest contributors to rivers and other water courses not achieving good ecological status.”

Severn Trent add that they are working with 9,000 farmers to prevent pesticides and other run off that harm rivers, as agriculture is accountable for 36 per cent of all river pollutions.

Meanwhile a Wessex Water spokesman stated they only have 11 storm overflows throughout the county.

They said: “These are monitored and none have been identified as having an adverse impact on river water quality.

“We support ambitions to eliminate any negative impact that could be caused by overflows, but this will only be possible when Government legislation prevents housing developers and property owners connecting surface water to combined sewers, which is increasing the frequency of overflow operations.”