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They tested for levels of two polluting nutrients, nitrate and phosphate,

Farm run off is going to be used as a reason why hte water companies aren’t dealing with sewage.

Lies in other words.

Prof Sir Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, has warned that river sewage is becoming a serious public health concern, and that bathers and other recreational river users could become seriously ill by ingesting bacteria.

Ah, yes

16 thoughts on “What fun!”

  1. bathers and other recreational river users
    In other words the stupid must be protected.
    For a period when I was a kid I lived near a river. Had a considerable relationship with that river. Fished it. Even swum in it. But.
    The stretch nearest to where I lived would have been the best place to swim in. Much deeper & wider. But it was downstream of a sewage outfall. If one didn’t know it was there one would have spotted the balls of detergent foam being blown along the surface. But of course we all knew about the sewage farm. That bit we didn’t swim in. Or fish in. Above that was where we went fishing but not swimming. Sometimes we took a bus about 15 miles upstream towards its source where the river was a third of its size & sparklingly clean. Good fishing & swimming.
    Kids weren’t stupid in those days. Let alone the adults. Just because it’s water doesn’t mean it’s the same stuff comes out the taps or fills the council swimming pool.

  2. Do you really think that a third of a century of improved water treatment has really made the state of rivers worse? This is all nonsense driven by the fact that none of this was measured until 2015 🙁

  3. From the report:
    our data demonstrate that smaller streams are significantly less polluted than larger rivers
    No schit Sherlock, but that is at least what we’d expect. So no surprise that the biggest and busiest rivers will have a lot of ions in them. But then this:
    In the North West, 9% of the
    land is wetland, compared to only 2% in the
    Thames. . . the benefits of wetlands to water
    quality cannot be overstressed. Natural
    wetlands play a key role in regulating river
    flows and in processing nutrients and fine
    sediment. Treatment wetlands, constructed
    in order to clean up contaminated rivers,
    can trap and retain up to 90% of sediment
    and remove significant levels of nitrate
    and phosphate11. By having so little land
    dedicated to wetland, the Thames region
    further suffers in terms of water quality

    Should have built that reservoir at Abingdon then.
    But does the report suggest more wetlands – no – it recommends punishing water companies with fines.

  4. BIS,

    “In other words the stupid must be protected.”

    I came here to say this. I have a general sense of society generally telling kids not to swim in ponds and rivers, whether it was school, police, parents, public information films. Going to swim in a river as a teenager was a bit of a dare thing.

    And that was also linked to how we’d built a load of swimming pools. Because that works better with the weather here. It’s why all those outdoor Lidos closed decades ago, and some wankers seem to have convinced the lottery to pay to restore them. And both that, and wild swimming, is about indulging a tiny number of middle class wankers.

  5. “Going to swim in a river as a teenager was a bit of a dare thing.” That must depend on where and when you were a teenager.

    For us swimming in the river and the sea were perfectly routine. If it was Saturday we’d then scamper home for a chocolate eclair or a jam doughnut.

  6. Exactly how many people want to swim in rivers? And how much money will it take to make them ‘safe’? I suspect we’re talking millions per swimmer. And it won’t be safe because most river deaths are drownings in clean(ish) water.

  7. @rupert
    That river of my childhood is crystal clear almost as far as the Thames. I took the dogs for a walk along its banks downstream from that sewage outfall one day . (which is still operating) In the shallow runs you could see sizeable fish in the 1-2 pound range feeding in the current. There certainly wasn’t the smell it used to have. I’ve seen the same in the Thames near Wapping Steps. When I was a kid the river was a fire hazard. You could nigh on walk across it on the scum.
    @WB
    I do suspect you’re right about the middle classes. The uneducated working classes are much more sensible. But that’s true in so many other things. A university education rots the brain. Should be avoided like bulls in fields & women named Charlotte.

  8. “… polluting nutrients…”? So that would include, for example, vitamins A, C, D, protein, carbohydrates – well all food I suppose.

    Since farmers use liquid manure on the land, some of this will get into water courses.

    But… surface water drains into the sewer system which means at times of heavy rainfall or snow-melt, the sewer works will be overwhelmed by the volume arriving, so will have to discharge some of it into rivers and sea.

  9. We used to swim in the river behind the ICI works in Huddersfield because the outfall was quite warm. This was the late 60s so we probably took in all sorts of things that weren’t even known about let alone measured in infinitesimals small amounts.

    I lost touch with the gang a very long time ago so I’ve no idea if I’m a lucky sole survivor or not. *shrug* no point worrying about it.

    I’m looking forward to reality biting when Labour tries to make good on the promise to clean up the rivers.

  10. surface water drains into the sewer system which means at times of heavy rainfall or snow-melt, the sewer works will be overwhelmed by the volume arriving, so will have to discharge some of it into rivers and sea.
    That’s going to depend where you are. In some areas there are separate pipes even at domestic level, for rain run off & foul. Even parts of Central London. So it really depends on how penny pinching they’ve been with the infrastructure.

  11. Earthwatch GreatUKWaterblitz!
    You can see this one now, can’t you? Environfreaks sampling the contents of the bottom of the pub urinal & swearing blind they got it 10 mile downstream of the sewage outfall. Never trust anyone who has an interest in the outcome of anything. I wouldn’t really trust any of the measurements they’re taking now. Like I don’t trust global temperature readings or Kneeler Starmer. (Trust & Gunga Din don’t even belong in the same sentence, do they?)

  12. @bloke in Spain,

    Excellent point.

    I remember watching a documentary about the quality of tap water, where they sent off samples to see if they agreed with what the local water company was claiming.

    All of the independent samples came back with the exact same results as the water company had said.

    By sheer coincidence, I watched the show with a friend of mine who’s a chemist for a water company and literally does these exact tests on a daily basis.

    He was howling with laughter at the idea that they’d lie about this stuff. The guys and gals in the lab don’t even remotely care whether your water is drinkable. It’s nothing to do with them. But the authorities do regularly check the lab results against the ones that their own chemists get, so the lab guys have a major interest in getting the correct results.

  13. I’m looking forward to reality biting when Labour tries to make good on the promise to clean up the rivers.

    Why?
    They’ll just change the metric and say ‘Look how well we did!’ without changing anything. And the lefty establishment shills will just go along with it.

    Tories bad. Labour good. etc

  14. @rhoda klapp
    Exactly how many people want to swim in rivers? And how much money will it take to make them ‘safe’? I suspect we’re talking millions per swimmer. And it won’t be safe because most river deaths are drownings in clean(ish) water

    Spot on

    Imo it’s not an issue. Sewage is over 99% water as it’s bath, dish-washer, sink, shower, washing machine… and toilet

    Furthermore overflows are in areas where it’s also rain from roofs, gardens, street drains etc further diluting the already tiny amount of poo

    Whole thing is a Left attack on capitalism using emotion not facts to create outrage in England and renationalise water. Never mentioned is sewage overflow much, much higher in nationalised Scotland, Wales.

    Fixing this non-problem would increase water bills by ~50% or more, do customers want that?

    Strangely, wildlife, fish, bird etc ‘sewage’ in rivers, sea is OK, but not human poo. Also human poo bad, manure good

  15. I live near a river in the south-east and frequently walk along the towpath (far preferable to roads). The fish and water birds do *not* seem to suffer ill-health as a consequence of drinking the water (we must be major exporters of swans to less fortunate neighbourhoods) . I walk past other rivers fairly frequently, along them infrequently: none of them (apart from the Thames) show visible signs of pollution. If 9 out of 10 rivers in the south-east suffer badly from pollution then I must be the one-in-a-million exception for not encountering any of them.
    With 70 million people in the UK, there’s scope for 70 each to be one-in-a-million, but …

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