More news...

Dec 31, 2017
Category: Conservation
Posted by: Kathryn

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

Nov 21, 2017
Category: Abstraction
Posted by: Kathryn

River Chess groundwater levels at record lows, a dry river in Chesham for a year, but no water restrictions from Affinity Water.

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.

Latest News

River Chess Sewage Meeting

May 23, 2014

Category: Pollution
Posted by: Kathryn

Thames Water will be present at a public meeting on Friday 30th May at 7pm at Chesham Town Hall (HP5 1DS) to explain the current sewage pollution on the River Chess. We would like to encourage as many people as possible to attend.

The Thames Water-owned Chesham Sewage Treatment Works has been continuously discharging sewage directly into the River Chess for over three months. We have continued our volunteer monitoring programme for riverflies at the site downstream of the sewage treatment works during this time. This year, we have recorded the lowest riverfly population scores for the month of April since recording began in 2010. This suggests that the ongoing pollution is having a damaging impact on the river's ecology on this stretch. The impacts on other river wildlife are unknown.

Diseases such as gastroenteritis and Hepatitis can be contracted through contact with sewage. Because of the possible health risks, a number of our habitat enhancement days on the river have been postponed. School trips to the river, including fish releases for Trout in the Classroom have had to be cancelled or heavily modified to ensure the children's safety.

Despite continued lobbying, so far Thames Water appear not to have taken any action to halt the pollution, which is the result of groundwater ingress into their sewerage system. For this reason, we are asking Thames Water to explain the following at the meeting:

  • what is causing the discharges
  • how much sewage has been discharged into the river this year
  • what is the current status and when is the pollution expected to stop
  • what is going to be done to ensure this never happens again
  • how is the Chesham Sewage Treatment Works going to be modified to meet current and future demand
  • how is Thames Water going to compensate the people whose livelihoods and property have been damaged


We would welcome anyone with an interest in the river to attend. Please contact our secretary on if you have any queries or would like more information.