The equivalent of 31 days worth of sewage leaked into Ipswich rivers, new figures have revealed. 

The data has been slammed as "sickening" by an Ipswich politician as Anglian Water says it is disappointed to have seen an increase in leaks.

The Environment Agency data revealed leaks into England's rivers and seas by water companies more than doubled last year.

According to them, there were 3.6 million hours of spills last year compared to 1.75 million hours in 2022.

In Ipswich, this equated to 31 days or 744 hours of sewage leaks into its rivers. 

This came from over 16 different leaks throughout the year into the rivers Orwell and Gipping. 

The worst of this came from a leak at the Cliff Quay water recycling centre. 

The centre, which opens up on River Orwell in the south of the town, noted over 326.78 hours of leaks. 

Also on the Orwell, a storm overflow discharged 80 times for a total of 175 hours.

During the same time, all of Suffolk noticed over 3,000 leaks amounting to 20,000 hours or 830 days. 

A centre in the village of Stonham which spilled into river Jordan, a tributary of Gipping, saw the worst spillage in the county. 

The mid-Suffolk village noticed 2,479 hours of spillage in total. 

Ipswich Star: The Enviornment Agency say that they will be assisting Anglian Water to improve the infrastructure in SuffolkThe Enviornment Agency say that they will be assisting Anglian Water to improve the infrastructure in Suffolk (Image: Archant)

An Environment Agency spokesperson said that they are working with Anglian Water to help address the issues in Suffolk.

They added: "We will take enforcement action where illegal discharges from storm overflows are identified and we are working with government to address the issues caused by storm overflows.

"This includes our regulatory transformation programme, faster civil sanctions, increases in inspections and 100% EDM monitoring.”

Ipswich Star: Jack Abbott called these leaks 'sickening'Jack Abbott called these leaks 'sickening' (Image: Contributed)

The Suffolk data was partly complied by Labour candidate for Ipswich Jack Abbott, who said that the amount of sewage being dumped into Ipswich's rivers was "sickening".

He added: "The number of people admitted to hospital for water-borne diseases has increased by 60%. To make matters worse, consumers face higher water bills while water bosses pocket millions in bonuses.

“Labour will put the water companies under special measures to clean up water. We will strengthen regulation so law-breaking water bosses face criminal charges, and give the regulator new powers to block the payment of any bonuses until water bosses have cleaned up their filth."

Anglian Water looks after the rivers in the county, and they said that these weren't the numbers that they wanted to see and blamed the wet weather for having added to the spills. 

A spokesperson said: "We are disappointed to see our spill numbers have increased this year. However, we are confident that investments we’ve been making to reduce spills have moved the dial in the right direction and spills would have been considerably higher without it. 

“It is important to acknowledge the exceptionally wet weather we had late last year, which meant that 70% of our spills were in Q4 alone and in stark comparison to the extremely dry year in 2021, as climate change continues to result in more extreme weather events.”