Petition to stop sewage discharge into our rivers

GEK79

Well-known member
Joined
May 16, 2020
Messages
1,357
Location
Irleand

BobP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
8,476
Location
Wiltshire
The issue lies with the underground sewage system. Many places have Combined Sewage Systems whereby all rainwater runoff and untreated sewage collects in one pipe. So, sewage flows down the pipe all the time and is added to by rainfall when it happens and goes to the sewage works where it is treated and discharged to the river. The problem arises when we have prolonged heavy rain and storms which basically overwhelm the system and exceed the STW's capacity to cope with it. Then a mixture of untreated sewage and floodwater is discharged directly to the river.

As there is already a fair amount of dilution due to the rainwater in the CSS, and the river also carrying a considerable extra flow of water, in general the river is able to cope with the sewage input.

Basically the stuff has got to go somewhere and if it doesn't do what it does then in all probability it'll be pouring up through manholes in the street which I suppose is OK as long as you don't live in those streets. Failing that it might well flood up through your downstairs loo.

I have no real evidence of it, but I suspect that the legitimate use of CSS's may well be getting used as an excuse or is being used during other STW operations so as to incur less cost to the water authorities. It is these underhand discharges that need to be brought to a close. Installing separate pipes for sewage and rainwater is the ideal, but I don't think too many urban dwellers would be overly delighted to have their streets dug up for weeks on end with all the noise, dust and inconvenience that would cause let alone the very significant hike in their water services bills.
 

shropshire_lad

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
2,457
Location
Too far away from the wild places!
I have no real evidence of it, but I suspect that the legitimate use of CSS's may well be getting used as an excuse or is being used during other STW operations so as to incur less cost to the water authorities.
I think you nail it there Bob - I have no direct evidence either but there have been a series of new reports on it. What the Water Companies are obliged to do, I believe, is monitor the frequency and duration of discharges from CSOs but to date this monitoring has, I believe, been very scarce. I believe EDMs (Event Duration Monitors) have now been rolled out so that data should presumably start to become publicly available.

This petition is, unfortunately, poorly worded and that, I suspect, has led to the low number of signatures to date.
 

tangled

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Messages
4,573
If anyone uses coarse fishing sites it would be useful to post the petition there, also members of clubs could circulate it.
 

ohanzee

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2010
Messages
38,823
The issue lies with the underground sewage system. Many places have Combined Sewage Systems whereby all rainwater runoff and untreated sewage collects in one pipe. So, sewage flows down the pipe all the time and is added to by rainfall when it happens and goes to the sewage works where it is treated and discharged to the river. The problem arises when we have prolonged heavy rain and storms which basically overwhelm the system and exceed the STW's capacity to cope with it. Then a mixture of untreated sewage and floodwater is discharged directly to the river.

As there is already a fair amount of dilution due to the rainwater in the CSS, and the river also carrying a considerable extra flow of water, in general the river is able to cope with the sewage input.

Basically the stuff has got to go somewhere and if it doesn't do what it does then in all probability it'll be pouring up through manholes in the street which I suppose is OK as long as you don't live in those streets. Failing that it might well flood up through your downstairs loo.

I have no real evidence of it, but I suspect that the legitimate use of CSS's may well be getting used as an excuse or is being used during other STW operations so as to incur less cost to the water authorities. It is these underhand discharges that need to be brought to a close. Installing separate pipes for sewage and rainwater is the ideal, but I don't think too many urban dwellers would be overly delighted to have their streets dug up for weeks on end with all the noise, dust and inconvenience that would cause let alone the very significant hike in their water services bills.
My thoughts exactly, and I'd guess that much of the sewerage going into rivers is private, a retrospective law would have half of UK rural householders installing filter tanks and reed beds in their gardens.
 

shropshire_lad

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
2,457
Location
Too far away from the wild places!

kingf000

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
1,021
Clearly this goes wider than just the utility companies. Even the water companies suffer in that, for example, I understand that Grafham can only take water from the Ouse when levels of paraformaldehyde, run off from farms, is low enough to be safe. You just have to look at the legal actions taken when pollution causes fish deaths - yes outflows from utility companies, run-offs from farms but also discharge from factories, illegal dumping etc. We have come a long way from the days when the river ran the colour that the dye works were using that day, or the black water from coal mines, or the Thames as an open sewer, but it can still be improved. I suspect it needs something a bit more comprehensive than what this petition requests.
 

shropshire_lad

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2017
Messages
2,457
Location
Too far away from the wild places!
Still only 1747 signatures this morning.
And just read this. Every river, stream and lake in England is polluted.

'Total failure' on English river water quality https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-54195182
The problem is this petition is a bit of a dog's breakfast the way it is worded. Even the title, ban 'permitted discharge' - it's either permitted or it's not?

It's a shame Feargal did not start it.
 

tangled

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Messages
4,573
The problem is this petition is a bit of a dog's breakfast the way it is worded. Even the title, ban 'permitted discharge' - it's either permitted or it's not?
The wording is fine, we want to make the legal discharge of sewage into our rivers illegal.

If we start quibbling about this, we'll lose any momentum it has. The point is to get people talking about it. Sign and circulate!
 

thetrouttickler

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2009
Messages
2,159
Location
West Sussex
The map view is interesting - looks like it has most traction in the Marches (Shrewsbury, Monmouth, etc), South Yorkshire, East Anglia and the South (Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset).
 
Top