Sewage disaster: The reality about British rivers and how you can clear them up

Sewage flowing by way of the Jubilee river in Windsor, UK, threatening wildlife

Maureen McLean/Shutterstock

TENS of metres beneath central London a tunnel has been dug that stretches 25 kilometres at a price of £4.3 billion. Boring was accomplished in April 2022 and the passage ought to begin operation in 2025. The 7.2-metre-wide Thames Tideway received’t carry individuals or automobiles although, however sewage.

This “tremendous sewer” will gather the big volumes of stormwater and waste that usually overwhelm London’s ageing sewage system. As an alternative of being dumped into the Thames estuary, as occurs now, the effluent will gush by way of the brand new tunnel to Europe’s largest sewage therapy works at Beckton, on the outskirts of the town.

The Thames Tideway is probably the most conspicuous instance of the UK’s makes an attempt to cease dumping sewage into rivers, amid rising outrage in the direction of the privatised water firms liable for the waste system. However this new infrastructure is simply the tip of the iceberg in terms of fixing this disaster, which is linked to wider problems with how water is managed and even local weather change. The excellent news is that technical options exist already, a lot of that are win-wins: serving to to resolve sewage overflows in addition to issues corresponding to flooding and drought.

Whereas many types of air pollution foul Britain’s rivers, sewage has grabbed the limelight. Information programmes have repeatedly proven footage of soiled slurry tumbling into pristine river waters. The primary culprits are mixed sewer overflows (CSOs), designed for when water from heavy rain is carried into the sewage system and have to be discharged as a result of its excessive quantity – taking waste with it. …

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