It should be a great injection of fresh rainwater for the land and the river but if we get a lot there is a real risk that a so called 'storm' event will overwhelm our sewage works and spill untreated sewage into our rivers. The rivers are low and vulnerable. Our wildlife is vulnerable and will not cope well with an injection of toxic waste to add to their problems.
Last week WASP visited Burford Sewage Treatment Works. What you see in the photos is the tank that is supposed to catch the storm sewage and stop it going in the river. It that fails the green sacks on the outlets are supposed to catch the bigger things like sanitary towels and condoms. The smaller debris and bodily fluids, chemicals, hormones bacteria etc, etc, etc, etc go into the river. When the sacks fill up or the tank gets overwhelmed the bigger items go over the top as well and it all ends up in the Windrush.
Look at the sacks. They already have ''debris'' in them so we know it has been discharging...
The highly professional Thames Water staff who showed us around don't want that to happen but say they can only do what the Environment Agency requires them to do and we say that is nowhere near enough.
If the network didn't leak rainwater in to the sewers it wouldn't happen. If the tanks were bigger it wouldn't happen as often.
Fixing that all costs money that the industry has not had to spend. Thames Water is a monopoly and if we continue to tolerate a second rate service that is exactly what we will get!
Not the biggest tank is it? That is all that stands between an injection of untreated sewage and our river,
And this green sack is what passes for the best Thames Water can deliver to filter out condoms, sanitary towels and nappies. Until the sack fills up or it goes over the top of the tank wall!
Can the pieces of feces, blood, urine, bodily fluids, bacteria and cleaning chemicals get through the sack mesh? I think you know the answer.