The Foul Truth
Why is raw sewage being pumped into the rivers?
In the UK most sewers and drains are “Combined Sewage Overflows”. This means that sewage and storm water is mixed, which wouldn’t be that bad if the entire volume was processed to a safe standard. However, water companies are still using decades-old infrastructure that does not have the capacity for the world today. Which means that sewers regularly overflow directly into rivers, filling them with raw, unprocessed sewage.
Why can’t water companies sort this out?
They can, easily. They just chose not to. Sorting it out would reduce the vast profits they make every year. They’d rather spend less money so they can make more. As privately-run monopolies, their main aim is to make a profit to pay their shareholders’ dividends. Often these shareholders live abroad, so while raw sewage flows into our rivers, local residents’ money pours into other countries.
What needs to happen?
There are many solutions to the problems - some well-established, some low-cost, some more expensive and others which are experimental. There is a wide rang eof technology available to deliver on this which many other countries are using with excellent results. solutions are simple and the technology is available.
While water companies are making these improvements, they can immediately implement live reporting of when they allow raw sewage to flow into rivers.
What about other sources of pollution and sewage?
Water companies typically deflect the issue of their raw sewage in the river by citing farms and septic tanks as other sources of pollution. There is some truth in this, but the scale is incomparable. Water Companies are pumping billions of litres of raw sewage into our rivers annually. whereas the amount from farms and septic tanks is a tiny fraction of this. Water companies are the biggest culprit and have a moral duty to stop this practice immediately.
What data do Sewage Free Swimmers want?
The data showing when water companies pump raw sewage into the river is available, but they make it very hard to access. We want live reporting of this information in a form that swimmers can use.
In addition we demand that the water companies do regular water-quality testing in all popular swimming spots in their catchment areas and report on this in an immediate and accessible manner. After all, they are the main polluters and also the ones who are paid to deal with the sewage.