Winchester and Oxfordshire are failing to meet EU environmental standards that protect local rivers from being contaminated by sewage, it was announced yesterday.
The EU Commission is taking the UK to court for breaching EU standards on treating waste water in 18 towns including Winchester.
The Winchester Wastewater Treatment Works at Morestead Road were found to be in breach of the rules despite undergoing a £9m upgrade that was completed last year, as well as the Islip Wastewater Treatment Works.
The EU rules were put in place in the 1990s and were supposed to be have been fully implemented by 2005. The standards aim to ensure contaminated water is properly treated so that harmful or deadly bacteria are disposed of. Untreated waste water can pollute rivers, threaten marine life and pose a risk to human health.
South East Euro MP Catherine Bearder commented
"It is appalling that water treatment standards are still at such a low level in Winchester.
"Local authorities who were supposed to be monitoring water safety levels must be held to account.
"People in Winchester and Oxfordshire deserve access to proper waste treatment that protects local rivers, biodiversity and human health."