Rivers Being Used As Sewers, WWF Warns

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With much in the news these days about being environmentally friendly and more sustainable in our general approach to life, it is perhaps concerning to hear that water suppliers around the UK are apparently not taking their responsibilities seriously when it comes to protecting our rivers and waterways.


The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has just warned that rivers around the country are now being used as open sewers, the BBC reports.


Chief freshwater adviser with the charity Dave Tickner explained that rivers are essential for wildlife, people and the economy, and with Brexit on the horizon it’s important that the government pushes through legislation that will protect and restore our waterways, while investing in proper monitoring and enforcement.


This would make sure that the agriculture industry and water suppliers are no longer able to use rivers as open sewers, he went on to say.


Analysis from the Environment Agency found that just three per cent of rivers in the Thames basin district, running from the Cotswolds and Northamptonshire through the capital to Kent and Hampshire, were considered to be in good health when last checked.


Solway Tweed, covering some parts of Cumbria, Northumberland and the borders of Scotland, has the biggest proportion of good rivers at 43 per cent, with 99 per cent predicted to be good by the year 2027.


The Agency has predicted that 75 per cent of rivers in England and along the borders of Scotland and Wales will meet EU expectations by 2027, compared to the 14 per cent now. But the WWF has warned that this target is very unlikely to be met in England.


An autumn consultation is now being planned to look at the challenges and choices that are faced in cleaning up our waterways, with the target to be reviewed based on what could “realistically” be achieved.


Senior scientist at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology Dr Andrew Singer made further comments, saying: “There is no river in the UK that is safe to be swimming in. We have so many sewage works that are on a river that even if you treated it perfectly you would still have enough pathogens coming out of a well-operated sewage works that you wouldn’t want to swim in the river.”


As a business keen to be as green as possible, it might be worth doing some research into the different companies you can now get your water from and switch water supplier if you think you find one that suits your needs more effectively.


The English water retail market was deregulated back in April 2017, meaning that thousands of businesses are now able to choose their own supplier. But it can be hard to navigate this new landscape, so if you need any help in this regard, get in touch with us here at H2o Building Services today.