It appears of late that some journalists have woken up to the dismal failures of the privatised water industry and are actually reporting investigative truth on the matter, as they rightly should.
Recent examples include an ITV Central piece
“64 years worth of raw sewage dumped into rivers and streams by Severn Trent”
“Severn Trent Water, which has its headquarters in Coventry, recorded the second highest number of hours of any water company in the country, and came in third for the number of instances.”
And then a belated BBC piece which revealed from Environment agency published data that water companies in the UK had
“Sewage discharged into rivers 400,000 times in 2020”
Straight in at number 3 on the number 2 top of the slops chart are our not so favourite shit mongers Severn Trent Water PLC.
There are the usual fairly pitiful words from a failed regulator in stopping this rot, and quite frankly I think from experience these characters are little more than puppets of the industry themselves, and will probably end up with private sector jobs in the said industry when they realise that there is more money to be made. It is a system that stinks more than the excrement that goes through the turd farms.
One must praise the work of The Rivers Trust, not to be confused with The Canal and Rivers Trust on uncovering this appalling record.
I would urge everyone to check out their website and their mission statement which reads
“Our vision is wild, healthy, natural rivers, valued by all. With your help, we can make this a reality. Together, for rivers.”
You can sign up to their newsletter HERE.
Of course, it would be nice to see such a similar vision for park pools and brook courses that feed into the said rivers and have even more concentrated pollution in them before they get diluted down into the wider water courses.
The trusts’s report explains
“Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and storm overflows (SOs) are designed to discharge untreated, diluted sewage directly into rivers and watercourses in event of extreme rainfall to prevent the flooding of homes and businesses. Whilst we estimate that 40% of them are more likely to be operating as designed with less than 20 spills a year, 40% are now shown to be operating poorly, and 20% are unmonitored, plus there are many inconsistencies in the current data. Any overflow which spills more than 60 times per year should be investigated by the Environment Agency, or 40 times if monitoring has been in place for several years.”
The Trust’s data team created an interactive map using data from the Consented Discharges to Controlled Waters database, managed by the Environment Agency (England) and Natural Resources Wales (Wales), and it makes for fascinating reading when applied to our neck of the woods, and in particular , certain places in the Smethwick area of which we are already very familiar!
Stony Lane has one such example of a combined sewer overflow, one which Severn Trent Water claimed they were unaware, but which I say was a total lie on their part in this regard. The event in 2019 where raw sewage poured into the lake initiated a botulism outbreak, another thing which this disgusting polluter attempts to deny any linkage to, despite professional evidence to the contrary that this is one of the main causes of such outbreaks.
Of course Sandwell council have spent their own money putting right the Severn Trent’s water pollution, or some of it at the lake, yet when one looks at this it has to be asked if the current permit is allowed to continue like this, then this has been an absolute waste of money?
In this regard I have bluntly asked the council and the interim leadership as to what they intend to do about this, and also attempt to persuade them to instruct counsel into attempting to get this permit revoked. They have after all caused extensive damage to a Sandwell council asset, without making any form of recompense.
Severn Trent Water led SMBC on a merry dance in this regard and failed to deliver anything. Statements were also made to the council with regards to what they would be doing at this site in terms of monitoring and making the water cleaner, yet so far nothing has arrived. I have asked the council what the timetable as stated by STW would be, and if they are going to hold them to this.
Unfortunately, the quality of the water entering the pool via the inlet at present remains unacceptable and shocking. It stinks and you can see sewage fur building up , a clear sign of abysmal water quality.
There are also questions raised about The Thimblemill Brook which feeds into Victoria Park Smethwick, and one wonders if there is a direct correlation between the event that happened here, the pollution incident as reported, and the subsequent deaths of wildfowl on the lake? It certainly appears that incidents at this pool are directly linked to pollution issues on that brook- all within STW control, or failure to control as the case is.
NEW REGULATION, MORE OF THE SAME SELF MONITORING?
A private members bill “The sewage (inland waters Bill)” introduced by Philip Dunne MP in 2020 seeks to strengthen regulation. Though running out of time, The Government appear to be going to introduce some of the proposed measures with new legislation. This law will create three key duties: a duty on Government to publish a plan by September 2022 to reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows; a duty on Government to report to Parliament on progress on implementing the plan; and a duty on water companies to publish data on storm overflow operations on an annual basis.
I am a little sceptical that this will be just another wagging Whitehall finger rather than a solution to the issue, in that CSO’s should be done away with altogether, as they are, er CRAP.
Part of the problem is rampant house building in already overdeveloped areas, and the more that this goes on and is supported by politicians, then the more crap we will get.
Another issue is that the EA are just not good enough and may well have had their abilities amputated by cuts to frontline officers not being able to monitor said events. If it is to remain little more than self regulation, what incentive is there for water company polluters like Severn Trent to monitor anything? I would not trust their records in any case.
Severn Trent really are a company that have no shame, and when one considers that their CEO Liv Garfield is on over £2million for this corporate failure you can probably see why.
I have only dealt with one company more disgusting than them in the last 20 years , in the serial liars and wildlife murderers of Albright and Wilson/Rhodia who poisoned birds with their white phosphorus waste at Rattlechain lagoon and denied it for years.
I have looked at their failures over many years and pollution record HERE. One can see from this that their record is not getting any better, and I looked in another post, how they were fined over £1 million in 2019 for their failures.
At the same time as their leaks are coming out, they shamefully attempt to divert attention away from this with corporate sponsoring of the White elephant and unwanted Commonwealth Games. The Commonwealth itself has little value these days other than some sad devotion to empire , and the host in Birmingham, one of the dirtiest cities you could ever have the misfortune to visit is perhaps well attuned to the dealers in crud.
Says Garfield pictured holding some banner
“We’re passionate about making a positive impact on the communities and the environment where we live and operate, and to the lives of everyone that we serve. “
Yeah sure, you need to sort your shit out first!