News / water quality
Raw sewage is pouring into our rivers and coastal waters regularly, all across the country. The government got a lot of backlash this week when it voted down an amendment to the Environment Bill, that would have demanded water companies stop releasing sewage into our waters on a regular basis.
I've learnt quite a bit this week about the issue, and one thing stands out is that a major reason for the sewage releases is that the pipes can't cope after heavy rain, so the sewage is released into rivers, otherwise it would start flooding out onto residential streets from manholes. This is because the rainwater shares the same pipes as the sewage. I have made another post a month or so ago about how water butts can help prevent flash floods, and clearly they are a solution in reducing the chance of sewage spills. This is because, using my original example, of a 10,000 homes, if each are fitted with a 200 litre double water butt kit (the bestseller), then that would hold 2 Olympic swimming pools worth of water, after heavy rain. This means that all that rainwater is not going straight into the sewers, so it reduces the chance they will fill so quick, resulting in a raw sewage release into the rivers and coastal seas.
I have not heard anyone mention this as a quick and easy solution to help the problem. Considering raw sewage is not just poop and wee, but anything that goes down the drains, including bleach, household cleaners, hair dye, medicines etc, it's a massive issue. Only 14% of English rivers are classed as being in a good ecological standard, according to the Ennvironment Agency in 2020. Yet another good reason to buy a water butt!