More news...

Jul 6, 2018
Category: Drought
Posted by: Kathryn

With this hot weather our water use goes up; this leaves less water available for the Chess.

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.

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.