This weekend saw thousands of people gather to protest against water companies dumping sewage in rivers. The event was organised by the charity Surfers Against Sewage and people dressed up in some interesting costumes (see photograph below). This article describes how water companies discharged raw sewage into British rivers 372,533 times last year, for a total of more than 2.6m hours, according to data from the Environment Agency. However, untreated sewage should only be discharged into rivers in exceptional circumstances, for example, during heavy rainfall. A professor in environmental toxicology took a sample from a river in Manningtree, Essex, and found the E. coli count to be twice that of the threshold for good bathing water. Read the article here.
You may also find our article on septic tanks and the rules for discharging to surface water here.
Another useful resource is: https://theriverstrust.org/key-issues/state-of-our-rivers
Image from the BBC, credit: Katie Pavid