The authorities have a duty to protect our environment but they are failing London’s rivers. Sign our petition below to tell them to do more.

It falls to Ofwat and the Environment Agency to set the water industry high standards that will see comprehensive improvements in water quality. Ofwat will make its decision on the Business Plan by December 2019, so we need to tell them how much we care about London’s rivers now.

As the environmental regulator the Environment Agency has clear duties to protect rivers (Environment Act 1995) –

The Water Act 2003 details the duties of Ofwat and the protection of the environment forms part of them –

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**

771 signatures

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