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RCA Meets Thames Water

May 30, 2010

Category: Water Quality
Posted by: Kathryn

RCA members met with Thames Water to discuss water quality issues surrounding the Chesham Sewage Treatment Works. The RCA is concerned that sewage releases on the river are having a detrimental impact on water quality and wildlife. These releases occur in response to heavy rainfall events when the tanks at the plant become overwhelmed by storm water run off (read more about this on our Water Quality page).

Thames Water representatives explained that they do not see the Chess as a problem river and that the company is acting within its consent as set by the Environment Agency. RCA members, however, said that the River Chess requires special treatment because of the impact that sewage can have on such a small and delicate chalk stream.

RCA members took the opportunity to explain to Thames Water their view that releasing untreated sewage into the river, with no warning to downstream landowners or users, is unneighbourly. They also expressed their concern that the frequency of such release events has been increasing in recent years. Thames Water said that the levels of release experienced on the Chess were not unusual and at many sites may be more frequent. However, Thames Water representatives did undertake to look into the cause of sewage releases that took place in the absence of heavy rainfall events.

The RCA expressed its wish to work collaboratively with Thames Water to address sewage discharges into the Chess and offered to share data from their monitoring work with the company. The meeting concluded with Thames Water agreeing to host a site visit to the Chesham sewage treatment works.

Download the full minutes of the meeting (PDF, 98KB)