Water companies made £2.8 billion of collective profits in 2020 and discharged raw sewage 400,000 times - for more than 3.1 million hours total.
Shockingly, these figures are low-end estimates.
They only encompass events self-reported by companies, and we are aware that not every incident is filed. For example, Southern Water were recently fined £90 million after they admitted 6,971 illegal discharges between 2010 and 2015.
While some releases may be partially treated, storm overflows are raw and diluted only by rainwater. As a result, they contain anything that goes down the drain, from human waste to household chemicals and plastics.
Also, following the impact on the UK's supply chains from Brexit and the Coronavirus pandemic, the Government enabled companies to discharge sewage at any time if there are a lack of treatment chemicals.
Beyond just being unpleasant, sewage causes serious damage to waterway ecosystems, plant, animal, and human health.
43% of river water bodies were impacted in 2020. Only 14% of rivers in the UK are of 'Good Ecological Status' within the Water Framework Metric, and over half of England's rivers fail to pass cleanliness tests.
Sewage released into rivers contains high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous. These stimulate the growth of algae such as phytoplankton in the water or mats known as biofilms in the sediments, which can lead to algal blooms.
Algal blooms block light needed for photosynthesis. Plants die, and are then eaten by bacteria which reduce oxygen in the water. Simultaneously, microorganisms decompose sewage and use oxygen from the water for aerobic respiration. Low levels of oxygen in water represents a significant threat to fish and insects.
In UK waters, burbot and sturgeon are already extinct, while salmon - the so-called King of Fish - has suffered significant declines since the 1960s, and the European eel remains critically endangered.
Toxic algae is also simulated by the nutrients from sewage dumping, producing chemicals that are dangerous to not only fish, but to humans or dogs that ingest the water.
Surfers Against Sewage found that raw material had been discharged 3,000 times into English and Welsh bathing water beaches in 2020, linked to 153 reported sicknesses, primarily gastroenteritis and infectious diarrhoea.