A Problem that Won't Flush Away

The Guardian reports: After years of downplaying calls to stop the scandal of raw sewage being dumped in the UK’s waterways, the government was forced into an embarrassing U-turn this week as drone footage showing effluent pouring into the sea attracted wall-to-wall media coverage.

What some campaigners have been shouting about for years from the sidelines, suddenly became the subject of mainstream concern. Conservative MPs from coastal constituencies found themselves bombarded with letters and emails calling for an end to sewage releases into rivers and seas. On social media, images of poo-stained people emerging from British seas were trending. And all this on the eve of the UK government hosting Cop26.

After a week in which the problem of water companies routinely releasing millions of hours of raw sewage into waterways each year was the subject of tense debate in parliament, many campaigners for clean waterways believe the tide may be turning.

Martin Salter of the Angling Trust said... “During lockdown people rediscovered the British countryside in their droves. Two years ago hardly anyone was wild swimming, now in November I have groups swimming past me on the River Thames regularly.

“And people are getting sick and people are getting more outraged than they might otherwise have done because this is directly affecting them.” More.