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HomeRenewablesDefraThames Water sewage discharges affecting Oxford rivers upstream

Thames Water sewage discharges affecting Oxford rivers upstream

Sewage was reportedly being discharged into nearly every river upstream of Oxford, with Thames Water treatment plants, including those on the Cherwell, Windrush, Ray, Evenlode and the Thames itself, utilising storm overflows for sewage disposal.

In Witney, one discharge has persisted for over 100 hours, according to reports.

A Thames Water spokesperson told Energy Live News: “We regard all discharges as unacceptable, and we have published plans to upgrade over 250 of our sewage treatment works and sewers.

“We’re currently increasing sewage treatment capacity at a number of our sewage works across the Thames Valley, including Witney Sewage Treatment Works which is expected to be completed in 2024.

“These upgrades will improve our ability to treat the high volumes of incoming sewage and reduce the need for overflows during wet weather, as experienced across the UK in recent days.

“Many of our sewage treatment works have been impacted by Storm Henk and higher than average long term rainfall across London and the Thames Valley. Groundwater levels are also normal to exceptionally high for the time of the year.

“Taking action to improve the health of rivers is a key focus for us and we want to lead the way with our transparent approach to data.

“We’re the first company to provide live alerts for all untreated discharges throughout our region and this ‘near real-time’ data is available to customers as a map on our website and is also available through an open data platform for third parties, such as swimming and environmental groups to use.”

An Environment Agency spokesperson told Energy Live News: “We are aware of the ongoing situation at Horley Sewage Treatment Works which is completely unacceptable.

“We have recorded non-compliances against Thames Water for breaching their permit, and our officers are actively investigating this incident.

“We have also made clear that we require the water company to complete the previously recommended major infrastructure works for this site.”

Energy Live News has contacted the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for comment.

Energy Live News
Energy Live News
This article first appeared on Energy Live News, an award winning news service. Their mission is to give you balanced news, analysis, commentary of energy from their dedicated team of quality journalists and production staff.
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