Sewage in our rivers....the water companies have to be stopped

bonefishblues

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JCP, I am not suggesting you or anyone else goes tramping the countryside looking for discharges, but if you see one where you fish report it. Next time you are there and it's doing it again, report it and report it every time you go there. When you have a nice list and have had no response from the EA which THEY ARE REQUIRED TO UNDER NIRS, then you move to next level.

I promise you, nothing causes more of a stomach upset in senior management than a few pointed questions from an MP. Chickens minus head.

The alternative, of course, is that we do nothing and it is the wild swimmers and canoeists who kick up the fuss and anglers are left on the sidelines. Government than assumes that seeing as we aren't too bothered we can safely be ignored. Anyone want that?
IME canoeists seem more interested in litter, however wild swimmers I hold more hope for.
 

bonefishblues

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This will be the fifth time I’ve posted my little rant below related to this subject in different threads and not a single person has bothered to comment. Maybe the idea is just too far out there to consider.
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We can’t seem to see beyond flushing drinking water down the toilet in this country.
At least some of this is abstracted from rivers which we have just polluted with raw sewage. We then filter and treat it back to drinking quality before flushing it back down the toilet with our waste to overspill the treatment plant again. So if no new houses are built and we have no population growth, we still need massive investment in water treatment to stop the existing pollution. But with ever more new homes and more people what we actually need is a vast amount of money put into creating a lot of overcapacity to cope with ever increasing amounts of sh1t. And that’s another thing we don’t do well, investing for future generations because we are more interested in making money for today’s investors.

Or

Put legislation in place for Incinerator toilets to be fitted in all new builds and require their installation in refurbishments.
The technology is already there. They use zero water. There is no connection to a sewer. You could build a thousand houses, put three thousand people in them with no sewerage reaching the treatment plant because they are not even connected. The only waste is small amounts of sterile ash which can go on the garden or in the bin.
With high volume production, the unit cost of these toilets would fall and they could be further subsidised by the water companies as demands on their plants would actually reduce as these things replace our current toilets. Less waste to deal with and less water going down the pan. No need to spend vast sums to future proof the system as the problem simply wouldn’t be there.
I looked them up when you posted. Seemed to be in excess of £2000 a unit, so unlikely to be viable was my thought.
 

diawl bach

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Well, I will comment this time. I had not seen the previous posts. What we need is "far out there" ideas. We need to think outside the box (y)

Firstly, "making money for today's investors". You hit the nail on the head. Privatisation and the focus on profits has been a disaster IMO. When did you last see a headline about water company management "thin cats" :ROFLMAO:

Incinerator toilets? Don't know much about them but you may generate air quality issues. Why not compost toilets? Sh1t is a resource if used properly. Urine is pretty innocuous if managed properly. I agree we waste potable water. We (the public) can do more but that does not exempt the water companies from putting their houses in order.
I started digging the pit for a compost loo but further progress ended with lockdown, subsequently that project's been overtaken by other commitments ( ash die back work) but it will happen. Still using pee for plant feed, sure it uses water to dilute the urine but it's good for the veg, saves using chemicals and it takes a minute portion of the burden off the river.
Incinerator loos sound energy hungry, how that balances with the environmental impact on rivers caused by water closets is a difficult calculation.

How easy would it be to sell an urban house which depends on a compost loo to deal with the occupants excrement?
 

BobP

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There don't need to be "Far out" solutions. We just need to make sure that the water companies stick to the rules as already laid down, and if they don't stick to the rules they must pay the price. Hit them seriously in the corporate wallet and shame them in the media. Investors get nervous about adverse publicity.

The problem is that many of these outlets are quite small and while they have a long-term pernicious effect on the rivers and the invertebrates there does not appear to be any major impact on the fish. There is nothing like a slick of dead fish floating down the river for the public to see on the TV screens to alarm them.
 

4wings

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With the current drought conditions, lack of rainfall in many areas, this additional pressure of sewage dumping may well cost some rivers dear.
 

morayfisher

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I looked them up when you posted. Seemed to be in excess of £2000 a unit, so unlikely to be viable was my thought.
And the cost of treating all that water over and over again, laying miles of sewer pipes is what?
Just use some of that money to subsidise an alternative and economies of scale will reduce the cost further.
 

morayfisher

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Incinerator loos sound energy hungry, how that balances with the environmental impact on rivers caused by water closets is a difficult calculation.

How easy would it be to sell an urban house which depends on a compost loo to deal with the occupants excrement?
They use a fraction of the energy of an electric car and we will all be driving those in the not too distant future.

A composting toilet would be a difficult sell to most I’d say. We are too used to flush and forget.
Much the same as rubbish and recycling. We put the bins out and it disappears, most people don’t want to think about it past that point.
 

bonefishblues

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And the cost of treating all that water over and over again, laying miles of sewer pipes is what?
Just use some of that money to subsidise an alternative and economies of scale will reduce the cost further.
The infrastructure is there. There's therefore no money to use for an alternative in the way you seem to indicate*. Water will still need treatment, even if different toilets are used. I'm sure that it might be part of a solution, but I don't think that it's the solution.

*And if we can find what, say£3k per household, then we can transform the water supply and treatment infrastructure, surely, such that it doesn't pump sh1t into watercourses when it rains a bit.
 

PaulD

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A composting toilet would be a difficult sell to most I’d say. We are too used to flush and forget.
I grew up in West Cornwall where the loo was a sprint away in a field, the contents of which were, when he remembered, buried in the garden by my father. We grew excellent potatoes.
 

LukeNZ

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Reduce the number of consumers by 50%. Introduce fair birth control measures globally. That might start to improve the environment a bit? Might give people a bit more hope for humanity and stabilise the ecosystem and all that.

Just a crazy idea; probably won’t catch on till it’s far too late to save anything.

🙃
 
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morayfisher

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Springfield homes are building a new town of 3000 houses besides all their other developments, over a hundred near here soon. The existing infrastructure will have to be continually expanded for ever more to cope with population growth.
According to Google we urinate approximately 1400ml per day over six or seven times, say 200ml a go. UK toilets use 7.5-9.5 litres per flush. If we don’t use that 50 litres per person, per day just to get rid of urine, it would save all the money it costs to treat it and the whole treatment system wouldn’t be under so much pressure that it has to overspill untreated waste into our rivers.
So maybe average 8 litres of drinking water to get rid of 0.2 litres of urine. Does that really sound like the best possible solution?
To get all that water, we are abstracting to the point that some of our water courses are already drying up. Great plan, that.
 

shropshire_lad

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How easy would it be to sell an urban house which depends on a compost loo to deal with the occupants excrement?
That's a very pertinent point DB, depends how "urban" but probably all but impossible as things stand. If neighbours found out they would also be up in arms even though there would be no hazard if managed properly - they'll butcher trees and pour chemicals wherever they can to kill off whatever they can but a compost loo....... :eek:

We live in a suburban estate. Our garage has a flat roof which needs repairing. I did briefly consider a green roof but went of the idea for the very same reason, that it would put buyers off.
 

shropshire_lad

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There don't need to be "Far out" solutions. We just need to make sure that the water companies stick to the rules as already laid down, and if they don't stick to the rules they must pay the price. Hit them seriously in the corporate wallet and shame them in the media. Investors get nervous about adverse publicity.
"Far out" is probably not the best term Bob, "Innovative" is better.

I think we need both.

I believe you worked in the EA and obviously know how things work there. I worked in the water industry for 30 years. I have little faith things will change any time soon so I think there is a place for innovation and change in attitudes. Rather than an out of sight, out of mind attitude with sh1t maybe we need to take some personal responsibility where and when we can?
 

shropshire_lad

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The infrastructure is there. There's therefore no money to use for an alternative in the way you seem to indicate*. Water will still need treatment, even if different toilets are used. I'm sure that it might be part of a solution, but I don't think that it's the solution.

*And if we can find what, say£3k per household, then we can transform the water supply and treatment infrastructure, surely, such that it doesn't pump sh1t into watercourses when it rains a bit.
The infrastructure is there but it needs upgrading. It should already have been upgraded.

There's no way our sewerage system can cope with every eventuality. A pressure relief system is always needed. The only way round that would be either making all sewers separate or massively upgrading the sewage treatment works. The costs would be mind boggling and make incinerators or compost toilets look bargain basement.

The key issue we must not lose sight of is how many discharges are occurring when they should not be and why? In other words, are the water companies using CSOs and STWs to discharge routinely when they shouldn't be? I suspect I know the answer to that but I have yet to watch the Panorama programme.
 

PaulD

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But we don’t live like that now, as a population.
Indeed we don't. I was 18 years old before I lived in a house with a flush toilet and I have no desire to revisit the experience of having to remember to bolt the back door to prevent the cows coming in.
 

shropshire_lad

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Springfield homes are building a new town of 3000 houses besides all their other developments, over a hundred near here soon. The existing infrastructure will have to be continually expanded for ever more to cope with population growth.
According to Google we urinate approximately 1400ml per day over six or seven times, say 200ml a go. UK toilets use 7.5-9.5 litres per flush. If we don’t use that 50 litres per person, per day just to get rid of urine, it would save all the money it costs to treat it and the whole treatment system wouldn’t be under so much pressure that it has to overspill untreated waste into our rivers.
So maybe average 8 litres of drinking water to get rid of 0.2 litres of urine. Does that really sound like the best possible solution?
To get all that water, we are abstracting to the point that some of our water courses are already drying up. Great plan, that.
Yes, we MASSIVELY waste water in this country and frankly it's a disgrace when you look at most of the world. It's probably only the US that is worse, after all they have bigger cars to wash.
 

shropshire_lad

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Indeed we don't. I was 18 years old before I lived in a house with a flush toilet and I have no desire to revisit the experience of having to remember to bolt the back door to prevent the cows coming in.
Why, that sounds fun? :)

But seriously, I do understand we all get to an age where we appreciate our comforts.

Compost toilets can actually be installed indoors, even upstairs. We have the technology.
 

LukeNZ

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"Far out" is probably not the best term Bob, "Innovative" is better.

I think we need both.

I believe you worked in the EA and obviously know how things work there. I worked in the water industry for 30 years. I have little faith things will change any time soon so I think there is a place for innovation and change in attitudes. Rather than an out of sight, out of mind attitude with sh1t maybe we need to take some personal responsibility where and when we can?

The oil industry had a pollution problem in that folks would drop the engine oil out of the car to do a service, then that oil would get dumped down the drain or put back in a used 5 ltr. container and put in the bin etc.

So oil retailers are actually supposed to take the waste oil back if you have a receipt showing you bought the oil from them in the first place. They then ensure it is given back to the original manufacturer, for proper disposal, or conversion into some other saleable commodities - heating oil etc...

So why don’t we do the same with shiit! Just take it back to the supermarket with last week’s till receipt, and let them deal with it. They supplied the ingredients,,they dispose of the waste, all paid for when you purchased your groceries.. 😀

...would love to see CEO of Tesco’s face right now! 🤣🤣
 
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