Letter: Stench of greed is doing our rivers no good at all

In 1858, untreated human waste and industrial effluent overwhelmed the River Thames.

By Stuart Graham
Friday, 22nd July 2022, 12:00 am
Not one English river is in a healthy condition, claims a letter writer this week.
Not one English river is in a healthy condition, claims a letter writer this week.

During a particularly warm spell of weather, the smell from the river was so great it became known as ‘The Great Stink.’

Parliament had to close. Politicians were forced into action and Joseph Bazalgette (ancestor of Peter, of ‘Big Brother’ fame) built a huge network of sewers across London. Public health significantly improved.

In 1989, the Tories privatised our public water companies. Since then our bills have gone up and yet our rivers are polluted again.

The CEO of United Utilities has been paid over £2 million a year for several years. Water companies pay billions in dividends to shareholders yet are increasingly pouring more raw sewage into our rivers and seas.

There were 292,864 sewage spills in 2019, rising to 403,171 in 2020. Our rivers, lakes and most coastal areas are unsafe to swim in. The natural environment in and around our rivers is under threat.

Not one English river is in a healthy condition. The Environment Agency has just produced a report which states: ‘’English Water company bosses must be jailed for serious pollution”. The report also revealed shocking levels of water pollution in the last year.

United Utilities charge me for providing a freshwater supply. I have no problem with that. They also charge me more to remove ‘wastewater’ which includes sewage.

I do have a problem with my wastewater being pumped into English rivers. Since last November, I have not paid the full amount of my ‘wastewater’ bill. I have written to the CEO of United Utilities explaining why. I would urge everyone to do the same.

The Victorians knew what to do over 160 years ago. We have the know-how to sort this problem. The stench of greed must end.

Stuart Graham

Whaley Bridge

For more letters, click here or click here.

A message from the Editor:

In order for us to continue to provide you with high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you very much