More news...

May 3, 2018
Category: Abstraction
Posted by: Kathryn

With an ever-growing demand for drinking water and increasingly extreme weather events, how do we get the water we need without causing even more harm to our rivers?

May 2, 2018
Category: Drought
Posted by: Kathryn

Our riverfly monitors are back out in the centre of Chesham checking for life in the Chess now that flow has returned.

Mar 24, 2018
Category: HS2
Posted by: Kathryn

A public meeting with HS2 and the Environment Agency looked at the risks posed by tunnelling to the groundwater and rivers of the Chess and Misbourne Valleys.

Dec 31, 2017
Category: Conservation
Posted by: Kathryn

Restoration works to a tributary of the Chess are planned for early 2018.

Latest News

Speak Out Against Sewage

Nov 3, 2011

Category: Pollution
Posted by: Kathryn

The draft Water White Paper is due to be published this December after long delays. We anticipate that it will address important river issues such as over-abstraction from the aquifers, which leads to low flows such as we are experiencing on the River Chess today and diffuse pollution from farmland. This is all very admirable, but we understand that the Water White Paper will remain resolutely silent on the issue of Government approved sewage discharges into river and coastal waters. The consequence of these discharges can be seen only too graphically by the major fish kills on the Rivers Thames and Arun in June this year. It was also highlighted by the problems faced by David Walliams when swimming the Thames for charity.

Most recently, and much closer to home there was a major fish kill in the River Crane in West London. An estimated 3,000 fish have been killed in the River Crane, a tributary of the River Thames, after raw sewage began to discharge into the river on Saturday 29th October 2011. Read more about this on the Environment Agency web site and see pictures here.

This is very close to home for us, especially as sewage releases do occur on the Chess. Our supporters commented on this incident:

"The thing that gets me most is that there is always a convenient river nearby to contain these problems."

"The new super absorbent 'dead fish' cleaning towel, comes in a variety of patterns, pike, perch and roach."

"Don't forget the bullheads....the dead ones in the river and the bigger ones in sewage administration who 'didn't see this coming'."

We have been in contact with Richard Benyon MP, Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries. He has been reluctant to be drawn on the issue and whether the Water White Paper will deal with Government approved sewage discharges into river and coastal waters. You should draw your own conclusions, but we feel this indicates that this will be brushed under the carpet yet again, and remain that "dirty little secret".

We still have time for this issue to be included in the Water White Paper and we encourage you to contact Richard Benyon on this issue. He can be contacted on ps.richard.benyon@defra.gsi.gov.uk. Below is a template letter addressing this issue, which you can personalise to get your message across and help us get sewage releases on the agenda.

Template letter to Richard Benyon (Word file, .doc, 20 KB)