Sewage bugs shock in the river Ouse
Pollution tests in the River Ouse at Lewes have found sewage bugs at 75 times safe-swimming levels.
The Sussex Express reports: “Under European laws, beaches designated for bathing must contain bacteria such as E coli at no more than 2,000 colonies per 100 milliliters of water. The agency tests found a massive 150,000 colonies of E coli.”
Brendon Parsons, Secretary of Lewes Rowing Club, said: “These tests confirm our members’ suspicions. Levels were very high downstream of the discharge, but they were also above the European bathing limit upstream, showing the general level of pollution.”
“Southern Water says it is ridiculous to compare the Ouse with a designated bathing beach, but that will be little comfort to our members or anyone else who catches a bug from paddling or swimming in the river. This is a national park and leisure activities are intended to expand on the Ouse. If nothing improves they will have to put up signs that say: ‘Come for a swim, leave with the runs’.”
“…the whole system of dumping sewage in a river that is the heart-blood of our home seems medieval, and they have found better ways in countries like Germany, where many rivers are designated for swimming. Let’s take the loo out of Lewes.”
There are over 1300 EU designated inland bathing waters in France and more than 1900 in Germany compared to just 12 in the UK.