Two cheers to Thames Water, who now produce near real-time information on storm overflow activity in their event duration monitoring (EDM) map.
The monitors indicate which overflows are currently discharging [rainwater and untreated sewage] into a watercourse; plus the date and time of the last recorded discharge.
The picture isn’t great, however, as South Leigh pumping station (for example) was discharging continuously from 20 December to 17 January.
And with raw sewage on their doorsteps once again, the residents of Evans Road must wonder what difference this ‘transparency’ makes. The attending contractors (not TW staff) agree that the sewage pipe needs replacing, instead of constant patching. Some may question their investment claims.
The Environment Agency’s own monitoring and enforcement work is stymied by budget cuts of around two-thirds, from £120m in 2010 to £40m in 2020. The government had an opportunity to regulate water companies more effectively in October 2021- and chose to vote against it.
All credit, then, to local campaigners Windrush Against Sewage Pollution for keeping up the pressure. WASP is working with West Oxfordshire District Councillors to try to ensure that Thames Water upgrades its sewage works to operate legally at least before new houses are connected - bringing about 30 tonnes of extra sewage wastewater per 100 houses per day.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
05/09/2022: a visit to Zurich's sewage works
21/01/2022: report on the eve of a protest against the dumping of raw sewage in the Thames
29/12/2021: a visit to Cassington sewage treatment works
08/11/2021: water quality in Eynsham
28/05/2021 Sewage on our Streets
04/02/2021 Action on Sewage & Flooding