Action on Thames Raw Sewage 'Long Overdue'

UK breached EU law by releasing untreated sewage into Thames

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Sarah Ludford MEP
Sarah Ludford MEP

Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP
Liberal Democrat MEP for London

Tel: 020 7288 2526

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Commenting on the ruling by the EU court that the UK has breached in respect of Thames pollution a 1991 EU law banning release into rivers of untreated sewage, since it came into force in 2000, Hounslow Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford said:

“The court’s ruling comes as no surprise, though it is a great pity things came to this. The outdated reliance on Victorian systems has caused regular discharges of raw sewage into the river following even moderate rainfall, which is disgusting in the 21st century.”

 “I have led the campaign to clean up the Thames for 8 years, taking a petition to European Parliament in 2005. It is simply unacceptable that Europe’s top city has water quality well below WHO standards. The blame lies on past Tory and Labour governments which failed to implement the sewage clean-up required under the law the UK signed up to 2 decades ago.”

“Thankfully and as recognised in the Court’s ruling , Thames Water is finally improving treatment works and building the Thames Super Sewer to collect any raw sewage overflows instead of them reaching the river. While disruption to residents must be minimised, this construction is essential.”


October 25, 2012