Extinction Rebellion Croydon is demanding that Thames Water stop illegally pouring untreated sewage into streams and rivers, and that they cease the payment of all bonuses, dividends and excessive executive wages until they have fixed the growing environmental disasters caused by years of excessive profit-taking and underinvestment.
Water companies pumped raw sewage into Britain’s seas and rivers for more than 9million hours over 2016-2021, an increase of 2,553per cent over five years.
Thames Water, which serves 15million people in and around the capital, has been named as one of the worst offenders.
Research shows the sewage overspills result from lack of infrastructure investment, which leads to environmental deterioration and presents a human health hazard.
To highlight Thames Water’s shitty reputation, Extinction Rebellion Croydon staged a protest at the company’s Beddington sewage treatment plant over the weekend. Unlike Thames Water, XR Croydon cleaned up their mess afterwards.
According to Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, in a joint statement with Ofwat and the Environment Agency: “Nobody wants a child to ingest human faeces…
“The principal public health responsibility for ensuring human faeces and viable human faecal bacteria do not get into waterways people might use recreationally rests squarely with the water companies and their directors.”
Thames Water boss Sarah Bentley received a £727,000 bonus in 2022, on top of her £2million salary. This happened just as the Environment Agency condemned Thames Water over pollution.
More than three-quarters of the water industry in England is owned by international investment funds, private equity firms and businesses registered in tax havens. Since privatisation, these firms have paid out dividends of £65.9billion.
Extinction Rebellion is inviting everyone to Westminster next month to demand a safer, more equal future for all. Find out more here: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/the-big-one/
Read more: River from Tory Philp’s constituency runs brown with sewage
Read more: Paul Whitehouse hits out at ‘liquid death’ sewage dumps in UK rivers
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The case to Renationalise the water and sewage “industry” is now stronger than ever.
As we all know, the blue areas as well as the land areas of our blue and green planet is our heritage, and we have been polluting them big time since the industrial revolution, with a whole range of pollutants including toxic metals, oil, and plastics.
With climate change, and global warming, our whole future depends more than ever on the supply of clean water…. and clean seas where millions of fish can live heathily, to maturity, so that we can harvest them– not hoover them up to make chicken food for battery hens and finger lickin’ chicken.
We owe it to our children and their children to stop polluting our rivers and seas with sewage and plastic waste from micro beads to bottles, fishing nets, plastic barrels–and bigger.
And– Paddling in poo? It should have died out by now, surely?
Was the basis of privatisation to make the industry more efficient?
Or was it just too tempting for Mrs Thatcher to leave alone, as it offered rich returns to the already share-holding minority ?
I really wonder how more efficient the industry is now compared with then, if at all.
The trouble with politics is that after 10 or more years, it is very hard to compare the situation then and now.
The excreta dumped along with all the rubbish that the great British public throw down the toilet could have been reduced or even dealt with by now if there had been a cross-party consensus 50 years ago about how to invest in tackling pollution , by upgrading and building new sewage treatment works on a planned basis.
Admitedly, it is a massive civil engineering task if we decided to stop all coastal towns discharging their sewage into the sea, fully treated, not just macerated to chop up the lumps. It would require cut-off sewers and new pumps, filter sytems, and treatment plants which would have to be located on shore.
All the investment in the world will never solve the problem of storm water discharges unless we stop people’s roof drainage and water from driveways and patios being discharged into the sewers.
We really need every town and village to stop the surface water from these hard surfaces from ever entering the “foul sewer”. It needs to be stopped and diverted “at source”.
Really, we need to make sure that all the water falling on our roofs and our own paved areas is either conveyed to soakaways on the property, or very nearby, in the street. It is fairly clean. That way, water soaks back into the subsoil, where it is filtered naturally, and can be pumped out later and used for the public water supply.
The alternative is to have a separate system of underground pipes, one for the sewage, one for the surface water. The problem is, that the volume of rainwater from the roofs and paved areas of just one street of 50 houses is collosal. Add the water falling on the roads, which is very dirty, the volume is doubled. All that water needs to flow to somewhere and be stored before being treated in some way to clean it up, otherwise the oily dirt from the roads is deposited on to the bottom of the Wandle and similar streams, choking and poisoning water life.
Sadly, governments in democracies like ours get voted out if they start forcing people to stop doing things that they shouldn’t be doing, or that the people who lived in their house in years before should not have done, in this case, letting surface water flow into the sewer via illegal connections. Let alone, flushing plastics and rubbish down the toilet.
My real worry is that one day it might even become too hot for the microbes that happily eat our poo in their concrete tanks down at Beddington Sewage Treatment plant and every other around the UK, to live.
Then we will really be in it — up to — and above our necks.
So, well done, protesters !
And the water bills keep rising as the stink gets worse!