Why English rivers fail pollution test?


Looking after our waterways has never been so critical – it’s something we’re extremely passionate about here at Cotterill Civils. Only last week we were shocked to hear that all English rivers failed to meet the Environment Agency’s quality tests for pollution.

The data revealed that just 14% of English rivers are of good ecological standard, a rating that indicates they’re as close to their natural state as possible. This means that England now has one of the worst records in Europe for the pollution of water bodies.

Why is our water quality so bad? 

These figures are so disappointing – especially when you consider there has been no improvement in the state of English rivers since when the last data was published in 2016. This is also in contrast to the Government’s promise that 75% of English rivers would be rated good by 2027. 

So why is the water quality so bad? According to the data, key sources of pollution were cited as being chemical discharges from industry, agricultural run-off and raw sewage discharges by water companies directly into rivers.

Storm overflows were considered a significant contributing factor – water companies were reported to have released raw sewage into rivers more than 200,000 times last year. In this scenario, water companies are given permits to allow them to release untreated human waste – which includes excrement, condoms and toilet paper – from storm overflows after extreme weather events, such as torrential rain, to stop water backing up and flooding homes.

It just shows that we, as individuals and as a country, need to do more to reduce the environmental impact from storm overflows and other sources of pollution.

How can we help?

At Cotterill Civils, we are committed to providing solutions that help prevent companies and individuals from polluting the environment. These include:

  • Sewage treatment systems – we supply and install sewage treatment plants, septic tanks and cesspools as well as silage and slurry storage systems to enable you to safely store and treat raw sewage as well as comply with the latest environmental legislation, preventing the risk of fines.
  • Rainwater harvesting solutions – We supply and install a wide range of rainwater harvesting solutions. These solutions enable you to reduce the amount of water that is artificially drawn from the environment, a supply that is best used for drinking, bathing and cooking. These solutions also help lessen the load placed upon drainage systems, thereby reducing the effects of flooding by channelling the run-off water into tanks for recycling.
  • Flood management solutions – We supply a wide range of solutions to support SuDS schemes. These include storm cratesstorm attenuation tanksstorm attenuation lagoonssilt filters and flow controls. These solutions enable you to manage the flow of stormwater and prevent flooding, thereby reducing the impact of storm overflows that can pollute the environment.

If you would like to find out more about these solutions, contact our team of specialists for expert advice on 0121 351 3230.

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