Thursday, April 01, 2021

Filthy Water


Countries are legally obliged to treat sewage before it is released into waterways. Discharges of untreated human waste are permitted only in exceptional circumstances.

New figures show the scale of untreated human effluent discharged in England into rivers and seas increased from 292,864 incidents in 2019 to 403,171 in 2020 – a 37% rise.

Hugo Tagholm, of Surfers Against Sewage, said: “Water companies making rampant profits at the expense the health of our rivers, ocean and people has to stop."

The Rivers Trust's deputy technical director, Michelle Walker, said: "The 2020 data indicates that, appallingly, almost one in five overflows across England are discharging more than 60 times per year, a number which is supposed to trigger an EA investigation. This is a staggering statistic.”

Raw sewage discharges into seas and rivers by water companies

Anglian Water – spill events: 17,428; duration in hours: 170,547
Welsh Water – spill events: 3,969; duration in hours: 21,300
Northumbrian – spill events: 32,497; duration in hours: 178,229
Severn Trent – spill events: 60,982; duration in hours: 558,699
Southwest Water – spill events: 42,053; duration in hours: 375,37
Southern Water – spill events: 19,782; duration in hours: 197,213
Thames Water – spill events: 18,443; duration in hours: 215,886
United Utilities – spill events: 113,940; duration in hours: 726,450
Wessex Water – spill events: 28,994; duration in hours: 237,035
Yorkshire Water – spill events: 65,083; duration in hours: 420,419

Water firms discharged raw sewage into English waters 400,000 times last year | Water | The Guardian

While in the United States a study has found potable drinking water to be polluted and contaminated.

Testing of the samples showed:

  • More than 35% of the samples had PFAS, potentially toxic “forever chemicals”, at levels above CR’s recommended maximum. 

    Almost every sample tested had measurable levels of PFAS, a group of compounds found in hundreds of household products. These chemicals are linked to learning delays in children, cancer, and other health problems. 

  • About 8% of samples had arsenic, at levels above CR’s recommended maximum. E

    xposure to even low levels of arsenic can pose health risks over the long term. A 2014 study  found an association between water with arsenic of 5 ppb or greater and a five- to six-point IQ reduction in children.

  • In total, 118 out of 120 samples had detectable levels of lead. 

    It is unsafe at any level
  • We sampled tap water across the US – and found arsenic, lead and toxic chemicals | US news | The Guardian

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