November's Heavy Rainfall Sees Record Dumping

But Thames Water continue to defend allowing raw sewage to flow into the river

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November saw two records being broken. The first for its heavy rainfall and the second for the amount of raw sewage that was dumped into the River Thames.

However, despite continued opposition and the threat of legal action being taken by the European Union, Thames Water defended their actions stating that it must continue dumping raw sewage into the Thames during periods of heavy rain.

According the London Assembly, 12.75 cubic metres of raw sewage was dumped, a figure that has been described by some members as "truly shocking."

A spokesman for Thames Water said, "London's sewer system was designed to overflow into the River Thames when it becomes overloaded, to prevent sewage backing up into homes and gardens.

"Population growth, the concreting over of green spaces and more torrential downpours from a changing climate mean that these discharges are now required far too often. But they are legal and consented because the rainwater and sewage literally has nowhere else to go.

"We now have funding and planning approval to improve all of London's five major sewage works and to build the Lee Tunnel to keep storm sewage out of the river, all between now and the end of 2014."

December 4, 2009