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Safety alert - Another sewage discharge into River Chess

posted 20 Jun 2020, 00:26 by Chorleywood Residents' Association
Following heavy rain on 17 June, a subsequent ‘storm surge’ led to Thames Water issuing an alert that they are discharging a mixture of rainwater and sewage into the river from Chesham Sewage Treatment Works.

The public is warned to keep themselves, children and  pets out of the water downstream of Blackwell Hall Lane.

Thames Water are allowed to discharge contaminated liquid if it is caused by a storm surge mixing with sewage and causing their tanks to overfill.  The alternative would be back-up into Chesham sewers..

Long term, if Thames Water invested in more tanks, there would surely be less risk of such events occurring.

The River Chess has previously been clear of sewage contaminated discharges since 5th May.  

Before then, there were frequent discharges.  From 1st March and 19th April alone there were daily discharges of contaminated material coming from the Chesham Thames Water Sewage Works.  The Environment Agency calculates continuous daily events as one continuous episode.  A combination of circumstances meant the Environment Agency regarded these discharges as “not unpermitted”.  The immediate problem of ground water ingress was eventually solved with remedial works.   Again, longer term there is clearly a need for greater investment to repair, reline or replace old pipes.

The River Chess Association  are debating with the Environment Agency what constitutes an un-permitted discharge and how they are counted.