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Kingston river suffers from sewage dumped by Thames Water

By William De Sousa Jan 20, 2023
Hogsmill, Kingston upon Thames, United Kingdom Credit: Shuttershock

Thames Water has continued to dump raw sewage into Kingston’s Hogsmill River with discharges lasting more than 20 hours in the last few days.

The last recorded discharge of sewage was noted at 4:30am on January 16 and stopped at 01:45 am on January 17 according to Thames Water’s online EDM map, with previous discharges on January 14 and 15. 

Screenshot of Thames Water EDM Map of Hogsmill River latest incident. Credit: William De Sousa

Hogsmill River is one of 200 small chalk streams in the UK, and runs through Kingston, Epsom and Ewell, Berrylands and New Malden.

It is home to a variety of wildlife including fish and many invertebrates that rely on the river, which means that the release of sewage into the river poses a direct threat to these inhabitants.

Thames Water are currently creating a Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan (DWMP) which is a long-term plan to insure a “resilient and sustainable” wastewater service for the next 25 years, due to be published in March 2023.

The plan is part of UK-wide initiative that aims to protect the environment and look after the health of the rivers across the country.

After meeting with senior managers from Thames Water at their Hogsmill Sewage Treatment Works in September, the Kingston Labour party called for action from Thames Water as the draft plan for the area does not appear to provide a feasible way of reducing pollution into the streams by 80%.

The Kingston Party said: “We want to see a credible plan from Thames Water of significant investment in the Hogsmill catchment to fix the pollution issues.

“This plan needs to show projects that deliver in the next one to three years not in 25, be it smart sewers, investment in fixing misconnections, or storm tanks.”

“I cannot see how they can claim that they are committed to protecting and enhancing UK rivers when they are regularly dumping vast quantities of sewage into them. They are prioritising profit over the environment.”

Mark Todd, Chair, Epsom and Ewell Labour Party

Mark Todd, Chair of the Epsom and Ewell Labour Party claimed that Thames Water are operating outdated fifty-year-old infrastructure that is no longer fit for purpose and described the practice of overflowing sewage into tiny streams as “sickening”.

Todd said he also met with the senior managers at Thames Water and surveyed the infrastructure, to which he concluded that “significant investment in larger storm tanks and smart sewers could solve many of the problems of sewage overflow into the Hogsmill”.

Todd agreed with the view of the Kingston and Surbiton Labour Party that a better plan for investment is needed and described the current one as more like a “PR stunt than a credible plan to stop pollution”.

Thames Water have said that shareholders approved an additional £2bn of expenditure in June 2022 “aimed at enhancing performance further and to delivery greater outcomes for our customers, leakage and river health”.

Over 2,500 have signed the petition to stop overflowing sewage into Hogsmill River & Green Lanes Stream:

By William De Sousa

Sport Editor for the River 2022-23. I enjoy writing match reports and like to keep up with sports news mostly Football. @WDSJourno

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