Dirty old rivers

The bad one

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You want to know what’s going on and in our rivers? Well, here’s the programme to inform you!

Listen to BBC Sounds, The Briefing Room – Sewage, Chemicals, Micro-plastics… How dirty are Britain’s rivers? 9/10/2021 Radio 4 Saturday 11 00 am
 
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You want to know what’s going on and in our rivers? Well, here’s the programme to inform you!

Listen to BBC Sounds, The Briefing Room – Sewage, Chemicals, Micro-plastics… How dirty are Britain’s rivers? 9/10/2021 Radio 4 Saturday 11 00 am
Thanks for the heads up. Just listened on replay. Scary and worrying. Don't swim in the rivers, folks... Probably best not to even wade in.

I've read contradictory reports on the Severn this year, but unless things change it sounds like the future is not very encouraging.
 
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Was an article on our local news last night about the state of the Wye - with some campaigners saying it's literally dying. Worryingly, on the same day there was a news story on the BBC suggesting it's looking likely that the Government will reject the Lords' amendments on the environment bill that would've forced water companies to reduce sewage going into the rivers. The Wye is such a beautiful river it'll be such a shame if it does continue to worsen.
 

steve2

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Was an article on our local news last night about the state of the Wye - with some campaigners saying it's literally dying. Worryingly, on the same day there was a news story on the BBC suggesting it's looking likely that the Government will reject the Lords' amendments on the environment bill that would've forced water companies to reduce sewage going into the rivers. The Wye is such a beautiful river it'll be such a shame if it does continue to worsen.
I also read this.
So much for a government that purports to want to clean up the world but not it's own back yard.
 

markg

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Same old same old, the only government who will sort this out is a green one, waste of time otherwise., yap yap, 50 years of yap yap, 100 years of socialism, capitalism whatever yawn, boring tired old arguments that they are which neither side has ever won or will and which have never sorted this, plenty of time and chances and they still carry on pleading with them, waste of time and no one learns. They can chuck out as many programs and documentaries as they like, I am sure there is nothing new in them and probably still the same old pleading, petitioning etc. etc. yawn yawn that never goes nowhere.
 
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steve2

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You are right Green Party is the only ones that might clean up this dirty country.
 

mikench

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It doesn't surprise me and its redolent of attitudes in all aspects of government and quasi government including the NHS, police , services and defence.. We don't have the resources so we will ignore minor matters. Look up the damming report on the Met and local force in the Stephen Port enquiry. In many cases even major matters are ignored, dealt with badly or with an air of indifference. Remember this.

IMG_0337.JPG


It's only a matter of time if we allow it. It's on Boris's agenda.
 

bullet

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Yes, no surprise there.
Almost every year I end up reporting something, last year was a fairly large slurry spill into a small river.
As a matter of course, I always tell them there are dead fish floating about everywhere, to try and increase the chance of a response.
 

peterjg

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I know I am wasting my breath - the EA are absolutely useless! Just another government department!!!
 

grayson

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I won't join the pile- on ,thanks. I've reported several incidents to the EA over the years and they have been responsive and helpful. I have also been involved with survey work with them and found on the ground staff knowledgeable and decent, and often passionate anglers too. The upper echelons have sometimes been decent but , sadly , marred by some staff who seem more focussed on process than outcome.

But we are in the classic Tory scenario again - progressively defund an organisation, brief the press against it , get the public mood on your side and hey presto - sweeping reforms(as they'd call it) and a once decent agency is half privatised and the reminder hugely defunded. .

And before we get too consumed by outrage about our rivers' state , many of them (virtually every river in post industrial areas) are in infinitely better states than they were in the 60s and 70s .
 

Keith M

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It appears to me that it’s sometimes a Post Code Lottery as far as the NRA and the EA is concerned; after reading of the problems people have experienced in some areas around the country.

Having helped manage a fishery since the start of the 1980’s which was regularly being polluted by a particular company upstream of our lake, and every three or four years having to regularly burn many thousands of decent sized fish that had died in the pollutions, and then having to replace them with money gained from the polluters, I’ve had plenty of both good and bad experience of the NRA and EA over the years.

We never had any problems with getting things like air pumps and personnel with boats that were needed to help us manually from the NRA or the EA, however when it came to taking the polluting company to task and getting compensation for replacing all of our stock plus all of the hours we had to put in trying to correct things then the NRA and EA just came up with excuse after excuse and didn’t even want to know.

Because of this we always took our own water samples and passed them on the the ACA at the same time as the water authority took theirs; and the ACA always took on our case and were the ones who got the polluters to pay compensation for the fish we lost from our lake and the hours we put in (and not the NRA or EA).

Thankfully the company that regularly used to pollute us eventually decided it was cheaper in the long run to divert their pollution through pipes running past our lake rather than having to pay us 20 grand plus every three or four years; so we no longer have our lake being polluted, thank god.

It was also the water authority that sent a team of unqualified numpties to cut down all the far bank trees and bushes from the GUC just north of Watford when they were only meant to cut them back a little bit, which ruined all of the historic swims that had been along there for years.

Keith
 
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grayson

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True - but they never were, for a very, very long time . A good local example is the River Seph , up in Bilsdale on the Moors. If you didn't know its history you'd assume it had always been a typical upland trout stream , flowing through barely populated countryside . But you'd be quite wrong , because in 1900 the river was devoid of any life, thanks to pollution from lead mining.

Don , Calder, Aire , Tyne, Mersey , Irwell and myriad other rivers in industrial areas were dead from the Industrial Revolution until relatively recently but are now thriving compared to the recent past. Some of the more hysterical newspaper and TV coverage of pollution seems in denial of the good news about such rivers. By all means let's keep up the good work , but let's not forget how far we've come since the 60s .

This is near where I grew up, at Castleford on the Aire - the foam was from the wool industry upstream . Nothing lived in that river then - nothing at all . Salmon run it now.
foam.jpg
 

mikench

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I accept all that but you would think we would learn from past neglect/mistakes/ ignorance and prevent it from happening again.
 

grayson

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Oh sure - but the human race never , ever learns from history , despite deluding itself that the endless commemoration of past triumphs and tragedies does just that .
 

steve2

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Report out today states there is not one unpolluted river in England. Polluted with sewage, chemicals and plastic.
 

whitty

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I heard on Tuesday that I believe 65 tonnes of raw sewage was released into the Gt.Ouse at Bedford last week(no wonder I never had a bite Monday),their excuse was to ease the risk of flooding🤔,also two other rivers had large sewage releases on the same day....
 

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Looking at the big picture is great, but I'm certain a small amount of expenditure could make a difference to our rivers, in the shape of trying to stop people throwing those bloody wet wipes down the bog, which later on aggregate and mix with fat and cause blockages in the sewers that lead to the storm overflows discharging far more than is necessary.
The trees on a stretch I fish below a storm water discharge are a disgrace, those things are everywhere, and they don't rot down...
A few TV commercials might help.
 
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