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The Independent

New Thames Water map reveals the place uncooked sewage is being discharged

A brand new map displaying the place uncooked sewage is being discharged by way of storm overflows has highlighted varied places the place effluent has been pumped into English waterways for lots of of hours with out pause.

Thames Water launched its digital map earlier this month, offering real-time knowledge on its discharges throughout the South East, amid rising public anger in regards to the state of the nation’s rivers.

There was a 29-fold increase in untreated sewage discharges into rivers and seas over a interval of 5 years, Setting Company figures obtained by way of freedom of data requests revealed final August.

A sewage overflow outlet discharges into the River Thames in November

(Getty Photos)

Additional evaluation of the company’s knowledge – which confirmed uncooked sewage had been pumped into British waterways for a complete of 9,427,355 hours since 2016 – confirmed that nearly one in four discharges went unmonitored the earlier yr.

Following sustained strain from campaigners and rising public anger, the federal government and regulator Ofwat have sought to crack down on water corporations’ means to pollute rivers and seas.

Beneath the federal government’s Setting Act, water corporations have been instructed to make close to real-time knowledge in regards to the frequency and period of all storm overflow discharges accessible to the general public no later than 2025 – and ministers have stated that every one overflows may have displays fitted by the yr’s finish.

Thames Water, England’s largest personal water agency, turned the primary firm to launch an interactive map offering real-time data on uncooked sewage discharges into inland waterways.

The map reveals steady flows of effluent lasting for lots of of hours in some places.

As of Monday at 9pm, sewage had been flowing for 554 hours at Clanfield and 564 hours at Standlake, each in Oxfordshire, for 839 hours in Burghfield and 841 in Stratfield Mortimer, each in West Berkshire, and for 758 hours in Fairford, Gloucestershire, amongst different places.

Public consciousness in regards to the scale of Thames Water’s uncooked sewage discharges by way of storm overflows has risen sharply for the reason that firm this month launched its digital map figuring out discharges as they happen.

Ash Smith, a retired police detective and water activist from the Oxfordshire group Windrush In opposition to Sewage Pollution, stated that though the curiosity generated by the brand new map has been “exceptional”, in the end “nothing has modified”.

Thames Water’s map: Areas in crimson signify ongoing sewage flows, whereas these in orange have stopped throughout the final 48 hours


“It has created lots of curiosity in what is going on, it’s been exceptional,” Mr Smith instructed The Guardian. It ought to put strain on the extra opaque water corporations to do the identical. However nothing has modified, the rivers are nonetheless getting used as a rest room.”

Thames Water instructed the paper: “Our present funding programme, which is totally funded, will ship main will increase in therapy capability at a lot of our websites.”

It added: “We’re completely dedicated to defending and enhancing our rivers and the communities who love them, and we need to make these discharges of diluted sewage pointless as shortly as attainable.

“We’re the primary firm to offer these alerts for inland waters … We need to paved the way with this clear strategy to knowledge, and the alerts can be accessible via an open knowledge platform for third events, akin to swimming and environmental teams, to make use of.”

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