In our ELEVENTH edition of Sewage Watch we present loads more on our sewage crisis.
- Scarborough businesses go bust due to sewage pollution
- Pollution stops children using from the River Kennet, one of England’s most important chalk streams.
- Northumberland’s beaches hit by more discharges.
- How can Environment Agency staff and directors regulate companies in which they have an interest?
- Blackpool beach off limits due to United Utilities broken sewage pipe.
- Conflicts of interest and absence of corruption control at the Environment Agency.
- Australian Macquarie Group stripped Thames Water bare. Is Southern Water next?
- Where next for stricken Thames Water?
- England’s water companies pay all their profits out in dividends. No wonder there’s been no investment.
- Water companies are just not regulated and they need to be.
This fortnight: 18 – 30 June 2023
29 June 2023 – Bristol MP Darren Jones says the water companies are just not regulated.
#BBCBreakfast / @Haggis_UK: We need ministers to take some accountability for the quality of our regulators.
29 June 2023 – Water companies pay all their vast profits out in dividends leaving nothing for investment.
@RichardMurphy: Looking at the accounts of England’s water companies for the last twenty years, My conclusion is that they are all environmentally insolvent.
28 June 2023 – One of many articles on the possible collapse of Thames Water.
MSN / The Independent: Contingency plans being drawn up for possible collapse of Thames Water.
27 June 2023 – Macquarie group stripped Thames Water bare. Will they do the same to their new acquisition, Southern Water?
@Feargal_Sharkey: Macquarie venture capital “Vampire Kangaroo”.
26 June 2023 – WASP’s investigation reveals an absence of effective corruption control in one of the most important regulators of polluters – the Environment Agency.
Windrush Against Sewage Pollution (WASP): Corruption Control? Part Two.
22 June 2023 – United Utilities admit that spill into sea caused by a broken pipe at sewage treatment plant and excess rain.
The Telegraph: Blackpool beach visitors advised not to swim after 14-mile sewage spill.
21 June 2023 – The Environment Agency allows its staff and directors to own shares or hold directorships and business interests in the very companies they are supposed to regulate.
Windrush Against Sewage Pollution (WASP): Corruption control or turning a blind eye?
20 June 2023 – Campaign group Surfers Against Sewage announced that sewage had been discharged from storm overflows at Warkworth, Amble Links, Druridge Bay North and Druridge Bay South.
Chronicle Live: Fresh warning of sewage discharges at four of Northumberland’s most popular beaches.
20 June 2023 – Pollution from untreated sewage in the River Kennet kept school children out of the water for their safety. Action for the River Kennet (ARK) had to abandon a day of river-school activities due to untreated sewage pouring into the river.
Penny Post: Preshute and Great Bedwyn pupils give sewage the thumbs-down.
18 June 2023 – Pollution on Scarborough beaches closes down local businesses.
The Guardian: No swimming, no surfing: how a summer of sewage is ruining the British seaside day out.
Ed: Let us know of any sewage incidents in your area – [email protected]. If it’s not in the West England area (Gloucestershire and surrounding counties), we’ll share it with our other Bylines Network newspapers.
From the archive (94 items to date) …
17 June 2023 – West England Bylines: Why should we pay to fix this Sewage Crisis?
17 June 2023 – Henley Herald: Packed Meeting to Plan for Action Against River Sewage Pollution.
17 June 2023 – Yahoo! News: Water company up for top environment awards despite 16,000 sewage spills.
16 June 2023 – UnHerd: The dirty truth about sewage. Westminster can no longer ignore the stink.
16 June 2023 – Lancs Live: E.coli ‘found in Blackpool sea’ following raw sewage discharge and no swim warnings across coast.
12 June 2023 – Brighton and Hove News: Swimmers told to leave water after patch of brown water found.
12 June 2023 – British Canoeing: Sewage targets need to go ‘further and faster’.
8 June 2023 – The Guardian: England raw sewage taskforce has only met once in last year, FoI request reveals.
6 June 2023 – Feargal Sharkey on Twitter: So there you have it.
The Times: Thames Water chief Sarah Bentley paid £1.6m despite giving up bonus.
5 June 2023 – 38 Degrees: Petition to ‘Rescue our Rivers’ passes 65,000 signatories.
5 June 2023 – Feargal Sharkey: Southern Water is refusing to hand over board documents on sewage dumping.
3 June 2023 – BBC News: Women’s Institute pollution campaign a ‘clarion call’.
2 June 2023 – Surfers Against Sewage: Demand an end to #profitfrompollution now.
28 May 2023 – Readers of The Guardian: Water companies profit as we bathe in apathy.
31 May 2023 – Environment Agency: Storm overflow spill data shows performance is totally unacceptable.
31 May 2023 – Chronicle Live: Call for Northumbrian Water to be ‘reformed from top to bottom’ over North East sewage dumping.
30 May 2023 – ITV News: Dorset’s River Lim now ‘ecologically dead’ after sewage spillages, campaigners say.
29 May 2023 – Feargal Sharkey tweets: “Despite sewage been dumped into the environment for 7,519,523 hours on 1,076,795 separate occasions over the last 3 years just 4 water companies have been prosecuted by the @EnvAgency. Now you know what regulatory failure looks like”.
Financial Times: Watchdog fines just four companies despite 300,000 sewage spills.
29 May 2023 – ITV News: Steve Coogan and Lee Mack campaign against sewage discharges in Lake Windermere.
26 May 2023 – ITV News: Worrying levels of E. coli in UK’s shellfish as sewage spills into sea.
26 May 2023 – The Guardian: Sewage spills blamed as E coli forces Cornish shellfish sites to close.
26 May 2023 – BBC News Gloucestershire: Water pollution: ‘We’ve lost it, the River Wye looks so ill’.
25 May 2023 – Salisbury Journal: Sewage and toxic chemicals: How polluted are Salisbury’s rivers?
22 May 2023 – Councillor David Lister on Twitter. Are water companies off-loading assets to avoid scrutiny? Something smells whiffy.
25 May 2023 – Laura Ferris MP for Newbury: Newbury Weekly News: water companies must be held to account.
24 May 2023 – Mirror: Sewage in Windermere is killing ‘crown jewel of the Lake District’, says campaigner.
24 May 2023 – The Guardian: Severn Trent dividend exceeds £260m amid rising anger over sewage pollution.
24 May 2023 – As Feargal Sharkey tweets, “And just to add to @SouthWestWater’s headaches they also had to introduced a hosepipe ban just 4 weeks ago. You read that right. Two formal investigations underway by the regulator and a hosepipe ban, now what does that tell you about how SWW is run?” –
Plymouth Herald: South West Water leaks probe amid Plymouth hosepipe ban.
22 May 2023 – As Feargal Sharkey tweets: “Yep, you can’t make this stuff up”.
BBC News: Scarborough: Anti-sewage campaigners warned not to swim in sea.
20 May 2023 – The Guardian: ‘The whole thing stinks’: UK water firms to pay £15bn to shareholders as customers foot sewage bill.
20 May 2023 – The Guardian: Revealed: warning to ministers over privatised water kept secret since 2002.
19 May 2023 – Third Force News (TFN): Ocean charity warns dumping raw sewage is a bigger issue than figures suggest.
18 May 2023 – The Guardian: Down the drain: how billions of pounds are sucked out of England’s water system.
18 May 2023 – What a load of … Rev Richard Cole: Twitter.
18 May 2023 – BBC News: Sewage spills: Water bills set to rise to pay for £10bn upgrade.
16 May 2023 – South West Farmer: Demand for water will outstrip supply say water companies.
16 May 2023 – Bolton News: Petition to remove raw sewage from waterways across Bolton.
15 May 2023 – Environment Agency: Bathing water season for 2023 officially begins.
15 May 2023 – Bridport & Lyme Regis News: River Lim ‘ecologically dead’ after sewage poured into it.
14 May 2023 – Feargal Sharkey tweets: “That is the 161st time @SouthWestWaterhas been fined over the last 10 years, a total of £4,573,634. Fines don’t work, something else needs to done”.
The Moorlander: South West Water fined £2,1m for pollution offences.
12 May 2023 – Feargal Sharkey tweets that: “There are only 2 small stretches of river in England designated as bathing waters. This morning both have ‘No swim’ advisories posted”. The River Wharfe at Ilkley and Wolvercote Mill Stream near Oxford are both polluted.
Defra: Bathing Water Quality.
11 May 2023 – East Anglia Bylines: More sewage, higher fines – Anglian Water punished again.
10 May 2023 – New Civil Engineer: Defra consults on expansion of targets for storm overflow reduction.
8 May 2023 – Financial Times: UK water company dividends jump to £1.4bn despite criticism over sewage outflows.
8 May 2023 – Plymouth Herald: Plymouth protesters ‘sick of sewage’ leaked into sea to stage paddle out protest.
8 May 2023 – Staffordshire Live: Outrage over sewage being dumped in the River Trent in Burton.
6 May 2023 – Edinburgh Reporter: Call for urgent action on “scandalous” discharging of sewage into city’s rivers.
5 May 2023 – The Guardian: Banking firm that owns Southern Water posts record profits.
3 May 2023 – Big Issue: ‘People are angry’: Will sewage sway how people vote in local elections?
2 May 2023 – Feargal Sharkey: London vs Paris – What a contrast.
1 May 2023 – The Guardian – River pollution becomes key issue in English local elections.
01 May 2023 – Cherwell (Oxford’s oldest student newspaper): “Sewage scum” and “nasty infections”: students plagued by deteriorating river quality.
30 April 2023 – Daily Express: Sewage in UK rivers surges to top of voters’ agenda.
30 April 2023 – Barnet Post: Labour candidate calls for funding to tackle ‘sewage scandal’.
28 April 2023 – ITV News: Anglian Water fined £2.6m for discharging 7.5m litres of sewage into North Sea at Jaywick.
Also 3 May 2023 – New Civil Engineer: Anglian Water fined £2.7M over sewage spill into the North Sea.
28 April 2023 – New Scientist: Why saving Britain’s rivers means more than cleaning up sewage.
27 April 2023 – Windrush Against Sewage Pollution – What just happened?
27 April 2023 – Big Issue – Raw sewage, dead fish and E.coli: Record £2.1m fine for water pollution in Devon and Cornwall.
26 April 2023 – Punchline – Labour kicks up a stink over Gloucester sewage scandal
25 April 2023 – New Civil Engineer – Anglian Water sets out sewer monitoring sensor plan to cut pollution incidents
24 April 2023 – Essex Live – Anglian Water sewage plant site spills waste on South Benfleet road after system valve fails
24 April 2023 – BBC – Local elections 2023: How sewage topped the political agenda
22 April 2023 – Daily Mirror – Labour planning local ad blitz if Tory MPs block sewage dumping crackdown plan
22 April 2023 – Feargal Sharkey tweets that – South West Water are over-abstracting more than 100m litres from the River Avon every day
22 April 2023 – ITV News – Bibury residents protest ‘shameful’ sewage pollution of River Coln.
21 April 2023 – North West Bylines – United Utilities sewage discharges are down – but what’s really going on?
21 April 2023 – The Guardian – Sewage-soaked field stops creation of new woodland in Greater Manchester.
20 April 2023 – Sussex World – Southern Water explains 250 hour sewage release in Felpham
19 April 2023 World Economic Forum – UK waters are too polluted to swim in – but European countries offer answers
18 April 2023 – Cheshire Live – Cyclist’s ‘sewage’ fears after ‘abhorrent’ sighting on River Dee
18 April 2023 – The Telegraph – Water companies accused of sewage discharge cover-up by failing to fix faulty monitors
18 April 2023 – This is Money – The big stink: Water firms making ‘a mockery’ of efforts to link bosses’ bonuses to pollution targets
17 April 2023 – Big Issue North – Top of the Poops
17 April 2023 – New Civil Engineer – England’s adoption of Schedule 3 is a watershed moment
17 April 2023 – Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) – Combined sewer overflows – it’s time we cut the crap
17 April 2023 – Loughborough University – UK waters are too polluted to swim in – but European countries offer answers
17 April 2023 – Leicester Mercury – Questions raised over amount of raw sewage being emptied into Leicestershire waters
15 April 2023 – Gloucestershire Live – Severn Trent blasted for ‘broken promises’ and ‘continuous sewage spills’ in Gloucestershire
14 April 2023 – Sussex World – Pop star Feargal Sharkey shares Eastbourne water quality concerns.
15 April 2023 – Westbury People’s Gallery – The Shit Song Video
13 April 2023 – Reading Chronicle – Reading: Charity furious at sewage dumping in Foudry Brook
13 April 2023 – The Express – British seaside hit with sewage – full list of affected holiday hotspots
13 April 2023 – The Guardian – More than 7,500 days’ worth of raw sewage dumped in ministers’ constituencies
12 April 2023 – East Anglia Bylines – Victory and disappointment for River Deben campaigners
12 April 2023 – The Times – Sewage dumped on shellfish without assessment, government admits
7 April 2023 – The Telegraph – Cotswolds has become sewage ‘dumping ground’.
4 April 2023 – Mail Online – Is your favourite beach one of England’s sewage hotspots?
3 April 2023 – Top of the Pops – 375,000 “sewage spills” into waterways in 2022, lasting 2,291,055 hours
3 April 2023 – Bylines Cymru – Welsh rivers see some of the worst sewage dumping in the UK
12 March 2023 – Windrush Against Sewage Pollution (WASP) – Walk and Talk in Witney
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