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Witney photo - not ours, need replacement 2_edited.jpg

Witney is suffering from sewage pollution

<This isn't our image - we need one of the area where the QR codes will be situated>

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This photo shows Colwell Brook, which <say how it connects to the area where QR codes will be>. <Describe the health of the brook here.>
If needed, can use Windrush instead.

<We need a photo of Colwell Brook in good health if we have it>


This video was taken in <year>. It's a similar spot, in similar conditions. The water is murky and the weed is covered in sewage fungus -- a tell-tale sign of long-term pollution.

<Credit & date needed, video is just called "Colwell Fungus">

2019.11.03_At Windrush on the Windrush.p

In 2007, an unpermitted sewage spill caused the death of 650 fish. <Can we say it was caused by groundwater infiltration? or do we not know?>
The Environment Agency (the regulator) say groundwater infiltration is "unpermittable". In other words, it is illegal.

<Pic of dead fish to go here - ideally from Colwell Brook, if not we can use fish from another river & caption accordingly>

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Colwell Brook <how does it relate to area where people walk?>, where many Witney residents enjoy spending time. Sadly, it is also being used as a cheap way to transport sewage to the sea.

<Nice photo of the brook /area needed if poss - perhaps of someone walking their dog?>

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From video where we need to confirm this is Colwell brook (called Fungus vs weed).png

In 2014, sewage fungus was found in Colwell Brook. This only forms when water is polluted by untreated sewage for a long period of time. The Environment Agency (the regulator) did not investigate.

This is from a video called Fungus vs Weed - need to confirm if this is from Colwell Brook & date

Normalising the pollution of your water

In 2014, Thames Water promised to "identify where investment might be beneficial". They also said that the Witney Sewage Treatment Works were "performing as they were designed to". Were the sewage works really designed to pollute?

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The threat to human
(and pet) health

<Insert info on water quality and public health message. Anything we can say about stories of unwell dogs, without sounding like hearsay?>

<Could put a pic here of the Witney walk? Alternatively, can use the Witney protest.>

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It's still profitable to pollute...

Since 2004, Thames Water has been fined £85,000 for spilling sewage into Witney. But in 2020, they reported profits of £244.6 million after tax. When the profits outweigh the costs, there's little incentive to fix the problem.

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When will it stop?

Sewage pollution has been an issue in Witney for almost 20 years. It has been caused by chronic underinvestment in the sewage system. Now, Thames Water plan to invest £8m. However, they have been unable to say what this will achieve.

Will it end sewage pollution in Witney? Sadly, our environment can't afford to "wait and see".

Read more about sewage pollution in Witney

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How do we know sewage pollution is an issue?

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We want our river back

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