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17Feb94 UK: CLEAN WATER BILL SLASHED BY £3BN.

Estimates for the cost of complying with European water quality directives have been slashed by £3 billion.Government experts now believe the bill will be around £7 billion to bring sewage works up to the standards demanded in the European Union's urban waste water directive.The proposed legislation lays down standards for discharge from sewage works and will ban sea dumping of sewage sludge.Officials at the EU are refusing to lower the high quality demands in the directive despite intense pressure from Britain.The Government had costed compliance in 1990 at £2 billion before water watchdog OFWAT revised that figure to £10 billion.The regulations are expected to become law in 1995, but most will not be implemented until 1998. CONSTRUCTION NEWS