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Sep 18, 2017
Category: General
Posted by: Kathryn

A public River Chess forum will take place in support of the World Wildlife Fund's 'Nature Needs You' campaign.

Jul 12, 2017
Category: Drought
Posted by: Kathryn

With groundwater levels now exceptionally low, the river in Chesham is dry as far as Lord's Mill, Waterside.

Jul 12, 2017
Category: Pollution
Posted by: Kathryn

We welcome the news that Thames Water will shortly be making improvements to the Chesham works.

Apr 1, 2017
Category: Pollution
Posted by: Kathryn

The River Chess has suffered many issues resulting from the Chesham Sewage Treatment Works, going as far back as 1889. These problems continue today.

Latest News

Catastrophic Failure at Chesham Sewage Treatment Works

Feb 6, 2013

Category: Pollution
Posted by: Kathryn

Sewage coats the woodland next to the STW

Sewage coats the woodland floor next to the STW. The tide mark on the tree indicates the large volume of waste involved.

We have been contacted by an RCA suporter who owns land adjacent to the Chesham Sewage Treatment Works (STW) who told us that their wood had been inundated with raw sewage. We visited the site and were shocked by the mess we found. Sewage had flowed through a perimeter chain link fence at considerable force at a height of 30cm and flooded an area of 600-1000m2. We contacted the Environment Agency and Thames Water and arranged to visit the STW.

What we discovered inside the site was evidence of a catastrophic failure to handle incoming sewage. Our big concern was that Thames Water did not appear to know how or when this incident happened. At some level Thames Water were aware of the problem as it was apparent they had started a clean up operation on their site. Thames Water had not informed the affected landowner, even though it would appear the incident took place days ago. The Environment Agency gathered evidence and took statements and will be preparing a report. The River Chess flows within 2m of the extremity of this incident; we are hoping that the river has not been affected.

You can see more pictures of the incident on our Facebook page.

This is yet another recent example of the failures by Thames Water in sewage management in the Chesham area that have repercussions on the River Chess. In chronological order they are:

24th January first report of a sewage leak from a sewer manhole in Holloway Lane, resulting in raw sewage entering the River Chess

27th January report of storm water discharge from the Chesham STW into the River Chess

28th January second report of a sewage leak from a sewer manhole in Holloway Lane resulting in raw sewage entering the River Chess

1st February third report of a sewage leak from a sewer manhole in Holloway Lane resulting in raw sewage entering the River Chess.

4th February fourth report of a sewage leak from a sewer manhole in Holloway Lane resulting in raw sewage entering the River Chess. On this occasion we believe the blockage was finally removed

5th February notification of a major sewage release from the Chesham STW on to adjacent woodland

In addition we have had an on-going issue of sewage detritus entering the river from the Chesham STW, which Thames Water have now taken responsibility for.

We are meeting with Thames Water next week to discuss these issues and to find solutions so that they do not reoccur. The Chesham STW is currently an unmanned site and one of our immediate targets is to see this site manned around the clock until a permanent and robust engineering solution can be put in place.