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Send this email to cut sewage pollution in London's rivers


Dear Thames Water,

More needs to be done to stop pollution from people’s homes entering London’s rivers.

In the River Pollution section of your Business Plan for 2020-2025 you want to treble the number of polluting outfalls that you fix to 120 a year. The Zoological Society of London report ‘Tackling Pollution in London’s Rivers, November 2017’ says there needs to be a 5x increase in the tracing, identifying and rectifying of misconnections. This would see 1,000 outfalls cleaned up in the same period instead of 600.

Currently there are more than 300 polluting outfalls on the Environment Agency's waiting list and many more undetected.

Thames Water has an effective system for detecting misconnections. When people are told their washing machine, toilet or sink is running straight to a river the vast majority get it fixed.

We need London’s rivers to be healthy, flourishing environments. For too long they have been treated like sewers.
I want Thames Water’s Business Plan changed so it says 200 polluting outfalls should be cleaned up a year between 2020 and 2025.

We also need the Environment Agency and Ofwat to support this change - if 1,000 polluting outfalls were targeted in Thames Water’s next Business Plan it would shift the balance in favour of rivers.

We also need Thames Water's draft Water Resources Management Plan 2019 to include an effective long-term strategy for dealing with plumbing misconnections.

Yours faithfully,

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485 Mr Hasmukh P. Jul 26, 2018
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Thames Water wants customers to tell it what we think of its plan to tackle river pollution from plumbing misconnections London Waterkeeper knows much more must be done.

Thames Water’s draft Business Plan for 2020-2025 is out for consultation now. London Waterkeeper wants a fivefold increase in efforts to stop sewage reaching rivers, not the trebling proposed in the Plan. If you send the email on this page it will go to Thames Water but also the Environment Agency and the water industry regulator Ofwat and form part of the formal decision process. The closing date for responses is the 29th April 2018.

Misconnections are when properties connect a toilet, sink, washing machine, or a dishwasher to a drain that leads to a river. This is illegal of course – polluting rivers is a criminal offence. But most people don’t know if their home is breaking the law and pouring raw sewage into a precious river. In London there are almost 100,000 properties doing this. It’s only obvious when all these drains pour from the outfall at the river.

A recent report by the Zoological Society of London says there are more than 1,000 drains spewing sewage into watercourses in London (Thames Water worked on the project with ZSL). Many rivers flow through parks which means there’s a chance of people and dogs coming into contact with human sewage.

Thames Water has a good system for finding out which homes are misconnected. When people are told, 90% of them quickly sort it out. The next Business Plan must have the appropriate amount of investment in the problem. The ZSL says we need “A five-fold increase in investment by Thames Water in tracing, identifying and remedying misconnections in the next AMP period 2020 – 2025.“