141 DAYS of sewage were dumped near sites in the Lake District that may soon become 'designated bathing waters.' 

Three out of the four sites in the Lake District currently being considered for designation are at Coniston Water. These are the boating centre, Brown Howe and Monk Coniston. 

A site receiving this status will have official recognition as a place people go to swim, and will therefore receive regular water monitoring from the Environment Agency, which will investigate pollution sources and identify steps to be taken in response. 

The public consultation period on the potential list of sites presented by the Government closed on March 10. 

READ MORE: 366 days-worth of untreated sewage dumped in Windermere

The latest Event Duration Monitoring data, released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, revealed that Coniston Wastewater Treatment Works discharged 3389.66 hours (141 days) of sewage last year. 

Water companies are allowed to discharge sewage in 'storm overflows' at times of exceptional rainfall, and United Utilities argued that this winter has been one of the wettest on record for the north west. 

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: "Targeted regulation and investment over several decades on the coast has driven significant improvements to bathing waters but the Environment Agency, and the public, want more for the water environment and we are rising to the challenge.

“We are better placed than ever before to hold polluters accountable – thanks to intelligence from our new whistleblower portal, our plans to expand our specialised workforce, new enforcement powers, increased water company inspections and new tools to inform our enforcement work.

“At designated bathing waters, we are also setting set stringent targets for water companies to reduce sewage spills, to make the biggest difference to these sites as quickly as possible.”

Mark Garth, a boss at United Utilities, said: "We have seen one of the wettest years on record in the north west and that has contributed to an increased number of storm overflow operations compared to the previous year.

"’Whilst the current system is designed to activate during rainfall I understand and share people’s concerns and the need for change and that’s why we are proposing a £3 billion programme to tackle storm overflows in the north west between 2025 and 2030."