Combined Sewerage Overflows.

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I make no excuses when I tell you that I lifted much of this information off the website of our friends down the A40 at Monmouth and District Angling Society.

The more our Members and other interested caring individuals in the Community see this and the useful link that I have posted below the more difficult the Water Companies will find it to hide this information or sweep any concerns about water quality under the mat!

The Environment Agency say that England has a combined sewage sytem made up of hundreds of thousands of kilometres of sewers, built by the Victorians, in many urban centres. This means that clean rainwater and waste water from toilets, bathrooms and kitchens are conveyed in the same pipe to a sewage treatment works.

Combined sewer overflows(CSOs) were developed as overflow valves to reduce the risk of sewage backing up during heavy rainfall. Combined sewer overflows are a necessary part of the existing sewerage system.

During heavy rainfall the capacity of these pipes can be exceeded, which means possible inundation of sewage works and the potential to back up and flood homes, roads or open spaces, unless allowed to spill elsewhere, ie The River Wye.

The incidents in the table below are only those experienced on the Lower Wye up as far as Hereford and the River Lugg. Peter Hunt of Monmouth and District Angling Society worked out that using the Environment Agency and Welsh Water’s own figures for the river Wye above Monmouth, published by The Rivers Trust, calculated that in 2020 there were a total of 1,512 individual CSO discharges into the Wye and it’s tributaries totalling 11,952 running hours. And Peter says “I might have missed some”.

The link will take you to The Rivers Trust website which contains an interesting interactive map allowing you look look up any sewage plant near you.

The map shows where the sewerage network discharges treated effluent and overflows of untreated effluent and storm water into our rivers and streams. It also advises you to Avoid entering the water immediately downstream of these discharges and avoid the overflows, especially after it has been raining. But remember this does not include pollution from other sources such as farm or agricultural premises and does not include phosphates measured weekly by our own Trevor Hyde.

So if you think your River Wye is clean I suggest you think again.

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