The BBC has footage of what looks like untreated sewage being discharged into the River Thames in Oxfordshire. It appears to be coming out of an overflow pipe connected to the Cassington treatment works run by Thames Water.
Listeners to Radio Four this morning will have heard it on the headlines too (pick it up at 1:05:25).
This will come as a surprise to residents who undertook a guided tour of the Works in mid-December 2021. Kevan Martin says, ‘When we visited, the settling was good and the liquid fraction was clear - the only solids were bits of floating plastic.’ His Long Read is recommended if you want to understand how the sewage from 17,000 souls is processed.
Wharf Stream pollution due to top soil run-off during heavy rains, documented on new year’s eve by Catriona Bass.
Thanks to Lucy Dickinson for her untiring work on water quality in Eynsham; and to the campaign group Windrush against Sewage Pollution for keeping this issue in the news
County and District Councillor Dan Levy comments...
‘A lot of time is spent talking to Thames Water, about sewage failures in Eynsham and on spills from their treatment works. Round here, the plant at South Leigh has been inoperative for months, Stanton Harcourt was the subject of a Panorama feature recently, and just today the BBC had a report Sewage pollution: How clean are our rivers? Thames Water have been more helpful than before - they stepped in quickly to fix the latest leakage in Evans Road, and they have promised to monitor the output from Sewage Treatment plants, but that is completely inadequate and unacceptable.
‘We need serious investment in infrastructure to stop spillages, and to cope with the increase in the population of the area.’