Sewage in our rivers.

rob48

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And the privatised companies have under invested much more than the public ones ever did! 56 Billion paid out in share dividends. 400,000 sewage discharges last year alone.
They've also invested more money on sewer improvements as well. It wasn't until privatisation that any asset management was carried out.
 

The bad one

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They've also invested more money on sewer improvements as well. It wasn't until privatisation that any asset management was carried out.
No they have never invested any money of their own volition they were and still are force by regulation to do it. Why would you need to know what asset you had/owned if the whole of every thing was owned by the state? You're talking corporate management speak bullshit! Explain to us if your industry is that good why did you industry last year make 400,000 discharges into the rivers and sea? Why on average is each Utility company fined 100 times a year for pollution of a river?
 

rob48

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No they have never invested any money of their own volition they were and still are force by regulation to do it. Why would you need to know what asset you had/owned if the whole of every thing was owned by the state? You're talking corporate management speak bullshit! Explain to us if your industry is that good why did you industry last year make 400,000 discharges into the rivers and sea? Why on average is each Utility company fined 100 times a year for pollution of a river?
Investment was a requirement of the privatisation agreement. Not many working people pay income tax of their own volition, they're forced by regulation to do it.
The need to know asset condition and performance is a prerequisite for maintenance and development. That's not management speak bullshit, it was an identified requirement at the privatisation process because it had never been done (on an appropriate scale) before.
I'm not a spokesman for the water industry but it appears that following years of insufficient investment the infrastructure is struggling to keep pace with the rate of population increase the country has witnessed since the turn of the century.
 

Ray Roberts

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The fines should double up. The fines are considered as running expenses and far cheaper than tackling the problem. Fine them out of existence if they don’t comply. The fines shouldn’t be paid by increasing charges to the consumer either, they should come from profits and dividends.


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Ray Roberts

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Investment was a requirement of the privatisation agreement. Not many working people pay income tax of their own volition, they're forced by regulation to do it.
The need to know asset condition and performance is a prerequisite for maintenance and development. That's not management speak bullshit, it was an identified requirement at the privatisation process because it had never been done (on an appropriate scale) before.
I'm not a spokesman for the water industry but it appears that following years of insufficient investment the infrastructure is struggling to keep pace with the rate of population increase the country has witnessed since the turn of the century.

Are you suggesting they went into it blind and without knowing what they would be letting themselves in for?


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rob48

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Are you suggesting they went into it blind and without knowing what they would be letting themselves in for?


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Partly. There were minimum investment requirements stipulated but the actual extent wasn't quantifiable due to insufficient knowledge of existing assets and inability to foresee future developments. Likewise, I daresay there would have been some safeguards for would-be investors or no-one would have been prepared to take up the option.
I don't know as much about the finances as I do the actual drainage systems.
 
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Keith M

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I'm not a spokesman for the water industry but it appears that following years of insufficient investment the infrastructure is struggling to keep pace with the rate of population increase the country has witnessed since the turn of the century.

It seems that we still have insufficient investment for the improvements needed, but now there is the added expense of having to keep investors happy instead of using what money they have on paying for the necessary improvements.

Our water company takes water directly from valuable water aquifers that feed our chalkstreams and has the cheek to ask users to use less water, when they could have invested some of our money in using water storage reservoirs (existing and new) for storing excess water when water is more ample. They don’t have any water storage facilities at all; they just rape our chalk-steams of water while pumping dividends into their shareholders pockets.

Whether this is correct or not, that’s how it appears to me anyway.

Keith
 

rob48

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It seems that we still have insufficient investment for the improvements needed, but now there is the added expense of having to keep investors happy instead of using what money they have on paying for the necessary improvements.

Our water company takes water directly from valuable water aquifers that feed our chalkstreams and has the cheek to ask users to use less water, when they could have invested some of our money in using water storage reservoirs (existing and new) for storing excess water when water is more ample. They don’t have any water storage facilities at all; they just rape our chalk-steams of water while pumping dividends into their shareholders pockets.

Whether this is correct or not, that’s how it appears to me anyway.

Keith
I don't know the financial parameters of investment and dividend ratios, it's not my thing.
I do know that the national sewage/drainage system was starved of investment and was literally collapsing when this was identified as an issue in the 1970s. The options presented were continued state-ownership with increased taxation or privatisation with share issues financing future investment and dividends as a reward.
This choice was put to the nation and the elctorate chose the latter.
I fully agree about what I see as the waste of water. Every so often we see a month or two of drought and then a month or two of floods. You don't need to be a genius to identify the solution. Paying for it's another thing altogether.
 

Ray Roberts

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maceo

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What we are talking about here is how we, Society, deal with our Sh1t! And how it has evolved over last 300 years or so. A little history lesson of the commercialisation of sh1t moving. Sh1t (human) believe it or not, was 300 years ago and up to a point now is very valuable.

The night soil men of old dug out the human dung from the privy carted it away in a horse and cart during the hours of darkness and sold it to the local farmers to spread on the land as fertiliser.
Proving the old adage, "Where there’s Muck, there’s Brass!”

This process of usage continued and could be described as a closed loop sustainable system – you eat - you shit - it gets moved back onto the land to fertilise it - which grows crops to perpetuate the system again.

The system with some tinkering continued up and until the take off of the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian Age. This age marshalled in a plethora of Public Health initiatives primarily because people were now living in very close proximity to each other in their 1000s, causing illness, disease and death to run rampant. Colah being one of the worst killers through human faeces just being thrown or drained right into the streets contaminating the available drinking water supplies. We’ve all seen the period dramas of the Piss Pots being just thrown from the upper windows into the street below.

The Victorian fathers recognising through increased and growing knowledge of how illnesses etc spread through the population realising they needed to do something to stop the impacts on the ever-growing population. That something was to create the Sewage System below ground, much of which is still with us today.

The systems they created where and still are in most cases combined sewers. Combined meaning they took domestic, industrial and rainwater in the same pipes to the same place. The same place in the early days being the local river. The hiatus of what they had done wrong was what is known as the Thames Stink and why MPs have summer recess. The smell of the river was that bad and nauseating they vote not to sit during high summer. Being MPs, they failed to return to sitting when the stink was irradicated.

They then included rudimentary sewage works to treat the water before it was released into the river. As most rivers that ran through major conurbations mirrored what was happening on the Thames, sewage works were created in and around those conurbations. A mention here should be made that at the same time as these “improvement” to the sewage system were being done, so to was the supply of clean water for drink, cooking etc and the creation of reservoirs to hold the water needed for the growing populations of the UK.

The creation of sewage treatment and disposal was a double-edged sword in the sense it broke the closed loop of the preindustrial revolution. It introduced vast volumes of water into the system via flush toilets, where prior to it the only water in the system was possibly urine. Which in itself was a valuable commodity, as it was used in the tanning industry and was collected and sold to that industry. The introduction of water into the system and running it into the rivers killed off much of the life in rivers around the conurbations, a legacy we lived with until the 1980s when the river systems biologically started to improve. The reverse of which has been happening since around 2010.

In creating this wholly water bases system of a combined sewers we have made it very difficult to get on top of river pollution for these two reasons.

The water has to be got rid of somewhere and given the volume it the rivers and sea were the only option. Contained within that water are chemicals that can’t be taken out and are lethal or sublethal to aquatic life.

We must move away from the water bases sewage system. Whilst it is true, in a small way we have started to move away from some water going down the pipes to the sewage treatment works (STWs) by making every new houses built use what is called SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage System) for rainwater. Effectively, the rainwater runs to soak-a-way either in a purpose built pond on a housing estate or around the house and into the ground. It may be a sound or not principle, it’s to early to tell, as it not been running long enough to show up any medium to long term problems. What it clearly does do is leave the remaining water in the system concentrated with the contaminants it has. Ergo the really nasty stuff from industry and domestic household products.

Moving on to what to do with the sludge from the STW, which is highly concentrated with very few of the toxins from the above sources remove. I heard it suggested it could be used as fertilizer on farmland. The Problem with that is you can only apply 3 applications to the land because of the toxins/chemicals in it as it is now. Those I’d suggest would need to be lowered because you have concentrated them by reducing the overall water volume of the sludge.

Incinerate them perhaps? Not if you want to reduce your CO2 levels you can’t! The nature of some of those toxins/chemicals they must be burnt at 1300c plus.

I even heard CEO of a new company/process on the radio the other day waxing on about how his process could turn sludge into pellets and put back on the land as fertilizer. Never occurred to him or the presenter that the pellets would have all the inherent toxins/chemicals problems of spreading wet sludge on the land.

The problem of disposing of Sewage is as near an intractable one to say the least. Is it an insurmountable one? Probably not but will cost a large amount of money to remedy but that should not be a barrier to doing it.

Very informative this - thanks. The SUDS thing is interesting.
 

steve2

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I have received a reply from my MP it is the same reply that markg received.
I have asked for more details on why there is no mention of sewage being dumped when there are no storms.
 

Peter Jacobs

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The water companies were privatised under the Thatcher government in 1981 as a government decision, there was no public consultation or vote involved whatsoever. What Thatcher did do however was to prevent, then stop, the Regional Water companies from raising commercial loans making privatisation the only option available to the regions. (shades of what happened to the NHS in the last few years?)

Since privatisation the costs per household have risen by a staggering 45% in Engand and Wales, noting that Scotland and N.I. still have their water companies in public ownership.

The Conservative government of the day had originally proposed Water privatisation in 1984 and again in 1986, but strong public feeling against the proposals led to plans being shelved to prevent the issue influencing the 1987 General election. Having won the election, the privatisation plan was switfly resurrected and implemented very rapidly."

It is probably best to overlook the Camelford water disaster in '88 which led to no prosecutions at all as that would have been harmful to the privatisation process . . . . Right?

It is also incorrect to state that at the time of privatisation there was no estimate of the costs of replacing old infrastructure. The estimate back then was in the region of £24 to £32 billions to bring the ageing plants in-line wth EU Rules. in the 30 years since that cost has risen to £130 billions with the £650 million figure noted in the MP's reply as wholly (and intentionally) misleading.
 
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steve2

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Interesting programme on ITV tonight "Whats in our water". while worth a watch .
 

grayson

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There was traffic on here about how the (yawn ) MSM didn't cover these issues and yet the sewage story is gaining a huge amount of coverage in the press . This week , The Times had a half page article , an op ed piece and even the main cartoon about sewage and I have heard a lot of coverage on R4 and local radio . With a couple of honourable exceptions (AT, Feargal Sharkey ) most of the publicity and action is being taken by other water users - paddle boarders , canoeists, wild swimmers and surfers . Why is so much of the angling community so bloody apathetic ? We draw up idiotic petitions about otters - good luck with that guys - but so many of us sit back and watch other special interest groups capture the narrative .
 

bullet

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No one group is ever going to make a difference on it's own, so it's just as well.
How long have Surfers against Sewage been operating with nothing at all getting done?
 

grayson

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They have enjoyed a far higher profile than any fishing group - and deservedly so . Your question illustrates my point - of course they've been complaining for years, with little tangible result. But they kept at it and more and more are now behind them . The sewage issue is front page news Most anglers moan for England and do two parts of **** all else .
 

mikench

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Isn't putting raw sewage and the deleterious stuff we, as a species put down our drains, pollution of the worst kind and shouldn't we just stop polluting. Creating greenhouse gases, poisoning our rivers and seas, deforestation and the use of plastics are all examples of pollution. We are a filthy and wasteful species. Even animals don't **** in their own back yard. Our planet is rapidly dying from pollution. Do as Arnold Swarzenagger says and forget the term global warming and concentrate on stopping pollution. The reduction in one will reduce the other.
 

Molehill

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Back from a fishing trip on Severn, heard (and checked on line at home) there is planning for over 1000 new homes at Ironbridge, site of the old power station. A new small town basically with pubs and shops etc.
So a question, where is their water coming from? For those that think it kind of appears by magic or the water company can simply build another reservoir up the road, an average household of 2 people use over 500 litres a day - do the maths!
Where is it all going? Again think of that amount of water to be processed plus all the run off from tarmac, drives, roofs, storm drains. Not sure how anyone thinks that things can easily improve.
Whilst googling for this I came across a Severn Trent proposal to renew and improve a sewage pipe through Ironbridge, talk about a nimby reaction from locals worried about the inconveniences. Imagine trying to build a new supply reservoir or sewage works. And then there is flooding!!!
 

steve2

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They have enjoyed a far higher profile than any fishing group - and deservedly so . Your question illustrates my point - of course they've been complaining for years, with little tangible result. But they kept at it and more and more are now behind them . The sewage issue is front page news Most anglers moan for England and do two parts of **** all else .
How many on here wrote to their MP after last weeks vote to complain? I did and I only know of one other.
How many of us use wet wipes and other household chemicals, we all do, will we all stop buying them, No.

When I comes to house building it would seem that the policy is to to see our the existing services cope before building any additional services.
Seeing that the services can't cope at the moment there is a simple answer but it would cost money and it would put up the price of houses.
 
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