Today has seen the release of a comprehensive report by Thames Water into the reasons why London needs the Thames Tunnel or 'Super Sewer' as it is called.
The report lays in out full the fact why the tunnel is crucial and the impact raw sewage overflows have on the river. There are on average in excess of 60 significant sewerage incidents a year and are becoming more frequent. With longer drier periods followed by heavy rainfall, the situation can only get worse.
On the 6th June 2011 the Tidal Thames saw the biggest sewage overflow in nearly a decade and the Environment Agency suggests more than 26000 fish may have been killed. Following a sustained dry period, the capital saw around 30 mm of rain fall causing the Combined Sewage Overflows to discharge nearly half a million tonnes of untreated effluent into the river causing oxygen levels to fall. Thames Anglers Consevancy members arrived at the river to find thousands of fish gasping for air and the foreshore littered with the remains of many aquatic species. Little was spared the devastation from this single incident.
The crash of dissolved oxygen levels was further exacerbated by the discharge being at low tide and little natural flow coming over Teddington Weir.
Since the 6th June there have been a further five discharges of sewage into the Tidal Thames, one on the 16th June, an irony not lost on many as the start of the traditional fishing season.
Thames Anglers Conservancy spokesman said:
'We welcome today's report from Thames Water as it highlights many reasons why the Tunnel must be built without delay. In a modern capital city it is unacceptable that raw sewage is still put into the Thames creating a serious health hazard for all river users and severely impacting fish stocks and all aquatic life. With the ongoing threat of Thames Hydropower schemes further reducing the natural flow, action is needed now. We would like to thank the Environment Agency fisheries team for their action during the recent incident and since.'
Notice to editors:
The Thames Anglers Conservancy is a free to join organization and is a consultative member of the Angling Trust for Thames between Staines and Dartford.
As a Thames Angling stakeholder, we are involved with many organizations including the Environment Agency, river user groups and local councils.
We are concerned with many aspects of the Thames including the threat of Hydropower, loss of fishing rights and pollution along with the positive aspects of promoting angling and its benefits.
EA Press Release 29-Jun-2011
Hundreds of fish are being removed from a Lincolnshire river as the drought continues despite recent spells of rainfall.
The Environment Agency will be relocating the fish from the Upper River Slea, which is currently experiencing low water levels as a result of the drought.
Fish will be removed from a stretch of river between Cogglesford Mill downstream to Bone Mill Bridge, near to the A17 bypass. An area of the Upper Slea close to the South Kyme is also being closely monitored so action can be taken immediately if dissolved oxygen levels drop.
As well as protecting fish in the Upper Slea, the Environment Agency is also currently working to maintain water levels through the town of Sleaford itself via its Slea Augmentation Scheme – which was switched on 20 May. Cogglesford Mill is at the end of the length of river that benefits from the Slea river support scheme.
Reuben Page, Fisheries, Recreation and Biodiversity Technical Officer, said: “Water levels on this stretch of the River Slea are very low at the moment and although the fish are not currently in distress, we are acting now to prevent potential problems. The river has dried up downstream of Cogglesford Mill during previous drought periods so taking this action now is a sensible precaution.
“It’s important we intervene as early as possible to minimise the impact of low water levels and low dissolved oxygen levels and we are continuing to urge anyone who sees fish that may be in distress to contact us.”
Species of fish that will be removed from the river include chub, dace, roach, pike, perch and trout.
They will be caught by electro-fishing, a technique that temporarily stuns fish and allows them to be netted and transferred to a transport tank. Once water levels in the Slea return to normal, Environment Agency officers will restock as necessary.
The fish are being relocated from the River Slea today.
Anyone who sees fish they believe may be in distress as a result of low water levels or pollution, should contact the Environment Agency’s incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.