Fresh Sewage Risks for England’s Bathing Spots This Summer

England’s rivers and lakes are at risk of contamination from human excrement, its chief medical officer warned, asking the government and utility companies to improve both infrastructure and monitoring.

Bloomberg
First Published21 May 2024
Fresh Sewage Risks for England’s Bathing Spots This Summer
Fresh Sewage Risks for England’s Bathing Spots This Summer

(Bloomberg) -- England’s rivers and lakes are at risk of contamination from human excrement, its chief medical officer warned, asking the government and utility companies to improve both infrastructure and monitoring.

A report commissioned by Chris Whitty warned that sewage treatment works continue pumping fecal organisms into rivers, seas and lakes. The concentrations are likely higher in dry weather when the water levels are low and less able to dilute the contaminants. That is also when most people enjoy being in the water.

“In particularly hot dry periods of the year — which tends to be when people are most likely to swim, paddle, children bathe — this is likely to be a bigger part of the problem,” Whitty said at a briefing ahead of the report’s publication on Tuesday.

Read more: Fresh Data Reveals Scale of Thames Water’s London Sewage Spills

The report by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the National Engineering Policy Centre, seeks to raise awareness of the public health dangers of sewage entering the water causing illnesses and antimicrobial resistance. 

While it largely addresses the contamination of public waterways, especially from human fecal matter, it comes as residents in Devon, in southwest England, face an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis, after a parasite got in the local drinking water supply, causing hundreds of people to become ill. 

Read more: South West Water to Pay £1.8 Million After Parasite Outbreak

Tuesday’s report sets out a series of recommendations, including water companies prioritizing investment in new and existing assets, and for the government to expand water quality monitoring to analyze the microbiological quality of treated effluents. It also called for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to review the designation and protection of bathing waters.

“We are categorical that the scale of sewage discharge into our waterways is completely unacceptable,” a Defra spokesperson said. “We will not hesitate to act if water companies do not clean up their act fast, including through criminal prosecution and unlimited fines where companies are failing to prevent these shameful spills.”

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.MoreLess
HomeNewsFresh Sewage Risks for England’s Bathing Spots This Summer

Most Active Stocks

Bharat Electronics

309.55
10:29 AM | 14 JUN 2024
8.6 (2.86%)

Indian Oil Corporation

170.30
10:25 AM | 14 JUN 2024
1.2 (0.71%)

HDFC Bank

1,597.45
10:28 AM | 14 JUN 2024
16.55 (1.05%)

State Bank Of India

840.20
10:29 AM | 14 JUN 2024
-3.7 (-0.44%)
More Active Stocks

Market Snapshot

  • Top Gainers
  • Top Losers
  • 52 Week High

JK Paper

490.70
10:25 AM | 14 JUN 2024
44.35 (9.94%)

KRBL

310.05
10:22 AM | 14 JUN 2024
23.05 (8.03%)

Poly Medicure

2,003.00
09:59 AM | 14 JUN 2024
142.9 (7.68%)

KEC International

935.20
10:25 AM | 14 JUN 2024
66.25 (7.62%)
More from Top Gainers

Recommended For You

    More Recommendations

    Gold Prices

    • 24K
    • 22K
    Bangalore
    73,303.00-503.00
    Chennai
    73,663.00-143.00
    Delhi
    74,166.00431.00
    Kolkata
    73,016.00-72.00

    Fuel Price

    • Petrol
    • Diesel
    Bangalore
    102.86/L3.02
    Chennai
    100.75/L0.00
    Kolkata
    103.94/L0.00
    New Delhi
    94.72/L0.00
    OPEN IN APP
    HomeMarketsPremiumInstant LoanGet App