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Anglers and activists demand urgent government action against ‘illegal’ Thames Water sewage spills





The Angling Trust and Action for the River Kennet are calling for urgent Government intervention to place Thames Water under special measures.

They say that without immediate intervention, the ecological health and biodiversity of West Berkshire’s precious chalk streams are at risk of irreversible damage.

Thousands of hours' worth of sewage have been flooding West Berkshire's precious chalk streams for months. Credit: Angling Trust
Thousands of hours' worth of sewage have been flooding West Berkshire's precious chalk streams for months. Credit: Angling Trust

Angling Trust head of policy, Martin Salter, said: “[These iconic rivers and streams in the Kennet catchment] have suffered for far too long and will be irreparably damaged if these levels of pollution are allowed to continue for another 20 years.

“We are calling on the regulators and the government to reject TW’s wholly inadequate proposals and insist that long overdue investment is made to their failing wastewater infrastructure.”

Both groups are demanding that the water utility company immediately upgrade its sewage treatment works — particularly those which are overdue and critical for preventing future spills.

They are also requesting a comprehensive review by the Environment Agency and industry watchdog Ofwat into TW’s operational activities in the affected areas.

ARK CEO, Charlotte Hitchmough, added: “For too long the water industry has got away with pouring untreated sewage into the chalk streams of the Kennet and Pang, sometimes for months at a time.

“Not only is it illegal, but the ecological and human health risks from allowing this practice are not acceptable and proper investment in infrastructure is urgently required.”

Their demands follow a recent rally held at Newbury and attended by some 250 attendees, which was covered by newburytoday.



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