The sewage spills into the River Chess are a regular topic in our liaison meetings with our MP Gagan Mohindra, who is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Chalk Streams. He regularly talks to Thames Water on the issue, and in 2021 they initiated a major project to reduce or prevent spillages. This work started showed improvements from late 2021, and in 2022 we think there were only 1 or 2 spillages of short duration.
We’re very pleased to see this issue taken up so forcefully by the Times in their “Clean It Up” campaign. We met Gagan Mohindra again recently, and urged him to back the Times’ campaign, and back better reporting and much larger fines on water companies for breaches of regulations.
We also suggested the government should ring-fence the money from fines, feeding it back to water companies for new and accelerated improvement projects. We were therefore delighted a few days later to see the government propose just this ring-fencing of fines money!