Ofwat, EA - set higher targets for the sake of London's rivers

  

Dear Environment Agency and Ofwat,

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 river-polluting surface water outfalls (PSWOs) between 2020-25. Their updated Business Plan now says they will increase efforts by just over 3.5x. That's still not enough.

As the regulators of the water industry we call on you to defend London's rivers and instruct Thames Water to increase by 5x the efforts to reduce the number of polluting outfalls, compared to the current Business Plan. This would set the target at 1,000.
At the moment, Thames Water has a highly effective team which investigates and rectifies this problem. Unfortunately it is just too small. With a 5x boost to resources many more rivers will be improved.

We need action because all of London's rivers fail the Water Framework Directive. These polluted rivers flow through public parks, putting health at risk and making rivers off-limits to local people when instead they should be able to enjoy them. The Environment Agency's WISER document doesn't give a high enough priority to the pollution of urban rivers by outfalls, particularly in London, and so lets them down.

Research by the Zoological Society of London has calculated that there are more than 1,000 PSWOs just in London (Tackling Pollution in London's Rivers 2017). In addition the Environment Agency has 88 drains on its waiting list. Sometimes it has been as high as 300.

We need decisive and effective action and look to you, the regulators. You have a legal duty to protect our rivers from pollution.

This opportunity to significantly improve the health of London's rivers only happens once every 5 years, please take it.

Yours faithfully,

**your signature**

775 signatures

Share this with your friends:

   


Latest Signatures
775 Ms Anan R. Sep 17, 2019
774 Ms Abigail W. Sep 09, 2019
773 Mr Michael N. Sep 02, 2019
772 Dr. Andrew S. Aug 24, 2019

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.

 

 

Facebooktwitterlinkedin