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Sewage blocked - by a buildup of lies?

WASP investigation has uncovered the tip of what appears likely to be an iceberg of gross misrepresentations of the capacity of Thames Water to take extra housing development when sewage works are already overloaded and even operating illegally.

High ammonia in storm sewage at Witney in March

It has been far too easy for water companies dump the sewage they cannot treat due to lack of capacity and the regulators must take responsibility for making illegal pollution the profitable activity of choice.

The consequences are very serious and it is how sewage works like Oxford, Witney and many others, probably nationally, have become overwhelmed. The water companies took the money for new connections and annual bills but did nothing to upgrade their capacities.

There was supposed to be regulation by the Environment Agency and Ofwat to stop such a scam but it has failed and we need to know why.

Now, massive problems are emerging as the infrastructure that is supposed to underpin and facilitate growth such as sustainable housing simply isn't there.

Here is the letter WASP sent to the Thames Water CEO today to ask him to make sure inquiries are answered accurately and honestly and to tell us, the developers and the planning authorities which sewage works are now red-flagged for overloading.

The Environment Agency has a lot to answer for as it neglected its core duties to protect the environment and facilitate sustainable growth - it has done neither, but there is a glimmer of hope from a small beacon of professionalism within the Agency that is now pushing back on previous wilful ignorance and neglect and is objecting to applications that would be connected to illegally operating sewage works. You will read more about this soon.

Now we wait to see how planners and the government respond. Ignoring the reality and pushing on with development that increases public health risks will have consequences if people get sick or even, as we must recognise, may even die from some of the nasty consequences of contamination. The legal liabilities for individuals and organisations are serious even if the environmental damage is ignored, which of course it should not be and we should not let it be.

Let's also remember Oxford STW even deals with the Oxford Hospitals' waste and, as if it wasn't bad enough already, who wants that added contamination in their environment?


4 comentarios

21 may

Thank you for years of committed work, sound research and informed publicity via different media dedicated to cleaning up our impact on rivers, wildlife and habitats, the ocean and health of the planet. So grateful that WASP continues its long fight and has led national awareness of water companies' disgraceful conduct and created 100% public support for change. Their deliberate obfuscation, failure to be truthful and consistent, covering things up and misrepresenting the information it sends to Planning Depts when evidence is totally to the contrary, seems to express the same sort of culture that the State has inflicted on us in the Windrush, Infected Blood and Post Office scandals. This culture also infects local government, in my experience, a…

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21 may

The arrogance of the water companies in continuing to ignore flagrant breaches of their discharge permits and dishonestly respond to planning applications has moved into the realms of farce. Do they not understand that their every move is now monitored by groups like WASP and widely in the media. Is it a criminal offence to knowingly misrepresent facts in a planning submission?

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Rachel Briggs
Rachel Briggs
21 may

thank you for your continued efforts to bring TW to account for their gross negligence of our waterways. It is appalling that they have destroyed rivers in our beautiful area, and it will be interesting to see his response.

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20 may

Coalport Level 2 semi-treatment works was classified as needing a capacity upgrade to cope with the volume of newbuild in Telford. How can I check whether it happened and how much untreated sewage goes into the Severn from that works? This may turn out to be a regional testcase. Coalport also receives multiple Monsanto toxic chemicals sent down the sewer to this WWTW from Stoneyhill “hazardous” chemical barrel dump site. Any assistance you can offer would be deeply appreciated.

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