The River Chess has suffered many issues resulting from the Chesham Sewage Treatment Works, going as far back as 1889. These problems continue today.
Drilling for HS2 could threaten our local drinking water supplies and chalk streams.
We are holding a public meeting on the 3rd November at Chesham Town Hall to hear how Thames Water plan to prevent further sewage pollution of the river.
Chesham Sewage Treatment Works released sewage into the Chess for nearly 11 hours following Friday's heavy rain.
Sewage Pollution in the Chess Again
Sep 21, 2016
As a result of the exceptionally heavy rain on the morning of Friday 16th September 2016 we have to sadly report that the Chesham Sewage Treatment Works was unable to cope with the volumes entering the plant.
Some years ago we had established a text notification system with Thames Water as a means for them to quickly and easily notify us when sewage discharges occur at the Chesham works. Unfortunately, this system failed and we received no notification. Our Chairman emailed Thames Water on Friday to ask whether a release had occurred and received an email on Monday 19th September confirming that sewage had been released into the river. This delay in notification means that we were unable to warn the public through our social media channels. Thames Water have no legal obligation to notify the public.
In response to our Chairman's enquiry, a Thames Water representative replied that, "Chesham responded as designed and we filled the storm tanks and then we did discharge storm flows to the river, this was between the hours of 11.54 to 22.46hrs on 16 September." This would have amounted to a considerable amount of untreated sewage entering the river.
We will be looking into what impact this might have had on the river. As yet there have been no reports of fish kills. A volunteer carried out riverfly monitoring downstream of the sewage treatment works on the 20th September. Some groups of riverflies were found to be present in lower abundance than when monitoring was carried out at the beginning of the month, but it has not breached the trigger level set by the Environment Agency that would require them to come out and investigate a pollution event.
We will be holding a public meeting with Thames Water at Chesham Town Hall on the 3rd November at 6.30pm. Anyone with an interest in the impact of Chesham Sewage Treatment Works on the Chess in encouraged to attend.