The authorities have a duty to protect our environment but they are failing London’s rivers. There are 1,000 outfall pipes and drains polluting our rivers now. In many cases this muck flows through local parks. We need effective action to stop toxins spewing into precious habitats and putting people’s health at risk.
London Waterkeeper wants the water industry regulator Ofwat and the Environment Agency to instruct Thames Water to do 5 times more to tackle the problem. Please sign our petition on this page and send them a clear message.
Thames Water submitted its new five year Business Plan to Ofwat in September last year. The plan proposed only a 2.5 times increase in efforts to cut the number of dirty drains. We asked people to tell the authorities they needed to do more. Their updated Business Plan now says they will increase efforts by just over 3.5x. That’s still not enough.
River health is being damaged by the dumping of sewage from illegally connected homes; heavy metals and oil from roads; plus hazardous waste from industrial estates.
The Environment Agency and Ofwat have a statutory duty to stop our rivers being treated like sewers. All of London’s rivers fail water quality standards. Anything less than rectifying 1,000 outfalls won’t see a significant long-term improvement in their health.
We need Thames Water to be told to start preparing to do 5x more from 2020. It has a great team of dedicated investigators who track down pollution but it’s just too small.
The success of the river restoration project, Citizen Crane, has shown that rivers can be improved by tackling polluting drains. This is why we need a big increase in resources.