An effluent tide of journalism pours human waste into Scotland’s rivers

In the Guardian today:

Britain: a country hosting a climate summit next week. Also: a country where the governing party just voted to allow water firms to keep discharging raw sewage into the nation’s rivers and seas, a practice they indulged in just the 400,000 times last year. Time to add irony to the extinction watchlist. During the G7 meeting at Carbis Bay last summer, the prime minister took a swim in the Cornish sea. I wonder if next week in Glasgow he’ll take a dip in the Clyde, into which Scottish Water have released hundreds of millions of litres of raw sewage. Finally, a wild swimming article I’d actually like to read.

Innocent as I can be at 6am, I clicked onto the Scottish Water story link to see:

Yes, February 2020, 9 months ago and a mistake.

Update from reader Legerwood:

It was about an incident in 2016 and the Feb 2020 article was about the court case where the company was fined £19,000. There was no lasting environmental damage.

The attempt in the Guardian to tar Scotland with the same brush was so obvious that it smelled to the high heaven and just begged for a deeper investigation.

Bad, I know, but not, as in England, regular practice and, for Boris, flushed away downstream some time ago, making a dip in the Clyde a bit safer than in any English river.

A bit of creative licence by the aptly named Marina but that headline dragging Scotland into England watery excrement.

How about some accuracy, Guardian? Like this:

In the Guardian today:

Water companies discharged raw sewage into rivers and coastal waters in England more than 400,000 times last year, Environment Agency (EA) data has revealed. Untreated human effluent poured into rivers and seas for a total of 3.1m hours via storm overflow pipes that are supposed to be used only in extreme weather to relieve pressure in the sewage system.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/31/water-firms-discharged-raw-sewage-into-english-waters-400000-times-last-year

From January 2020 in response to a channel 4 special:


The disaster of water privatisation in England:

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated
2015 data

According to the Environment Agency reported on the BBC UK website last July:

[In England] there were 56 serious pollution incidents last year [2018], rising from 52 in 2017, the agency’s annual report said. Only one of the nine major water companies in England is performing at the expected level, with most likely to miss 2020 targets, the agency added. The report follows the agency’s announcement that Southern Water is facing prosecution after it was hit with a record £126m penalty package over “shocking” failures in its sewage treatment sites.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-48934421

Meanwhile in Scotland, according to SEPA:

In 2017, for the first time in a number of years, Scottish Water was not responsible for any category 1, serious pollution incidents.

A report in Open Democracy attributes the situation in England to privatisation:

The dire state of our rivers is just one of the many, many failures of water and sewerage privatisation. It is just one example of what happens when we hand over not just time-limited contracts for delivering water and sewerage services, but the actual assets themselves – the pipes, the infrastructure – to private companies to milk for profit.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureconomy/when-we-own-it-public-ownership-water-21st-century/

The resulting customer satisfaction:

In a ComRes survey of 199 Scots, published last July, we see:

  • Thinking generally about the company that provides your water and sewerage services, do you or do you not trust your water company? UK 86% Scotland 94%
  • Do you or do you not trust your water company to… Provide a reliable service? UK 90% Scotland 96%
  • Do you or do you not trust your water company to… Ensure good quality of water? UK 90% Scotland 95%
  • Do you or do you not trust your water company to… Fix water pipe leaks in public areas (e.g. in roads, not in the home)? UK 81% Scotland 93%
  • Do you or do you not trust your water company to… Take action to protect and improve the environment? UK 78% Scotland 87%
  • Do you or do you not trust your water company to… Take away wastewater and sewage and deal with it responsibly? UK 88% Scotland 93%
  • Do you or do you not trust your water company to… Provide good value for money to customers? UK 72% Scotland 88%
  • Do you or do you not trust your water company to… Pay an appropriate amount of tax? UK 78% Scotland 87%
  • Do you or do you not trust your water company to… Invest sufficient money on the water network? UK 73% Scotland 86%.

Let me think, who deserves the credit for preventing privatisation?

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14 thoughts on “An effluent tide of journalism pours human waste into Scotland’s rivers

  1. Scotland has some of the best water in the world. The best drinking water. Water schemes that provide renewables. Hydro schemes since the 1960’s. In many countries water cannot be drunk from the tap. London water is re-used several times. The leakage from privatised water companies is a scandal.

    Scotland has renewables based on wave and water. Some journalist will not know Scottish water is not privatised.

    Some places there is not enough water. Salinisation in the Middle East and reclaimed areas. Some places there is too much and water levels will rise.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Journalists will know that Scotland’s water is not privatised, they just hope that no one else knows or bothers to find out! That’s not journalism, it’s propaganda and they have no qualms about their underhand role in that assault on Scotland.
      Jobsworths, the influx of story tellers into Scotland might push our sewers to the limit for sure!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Pretendy lefty Guardian rag, they have an obsession in talking down Scotland, and they despise the SNP. Maybe that’s because their readership in Scotland relied on Labour voters of which there are very few these days. So it’s not all bad.
    These BritNat rags might as well just print Glasgow’s sh**e, on their front pages until English governments’ COP26 is done and dusted, the sooner the better!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Just wait due to climate change
      England encounters severe drought
      Then write them that we Scots consider our water far to dangerous and lethal for human consumption that as a act of kindness we can not possibly send them any until they sign a waiver exonorating
      Such from all liability

      Like

  3. Can Glasgow’s sewers withstand the influx of people for English governments’ COP26 that’s the worry. Sort of joking but Edinburgh certainly stank during the festival at times, and air pollution was horrendous, you could see the yellow haze at car level in the city centre.
    Sewers, pollution, British nationalist politicians, propaganda storytellers, is it worth it?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Ah but it’s all right, the big knobs will save their keich for when they return to Gleneagles, after they’ve feasted like the gluttons they are.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marina just couldn’t stop herself from dragging Scotland into her dirty little story on England’s shitey crisis, with reference to an accidental release of raw sewage into the Clyde 5 years ago.

    Shit happens as they say and accidents are not to be compared with a policy of pumping raw sewage into rivers in the not so ‘green and pleasant land’.

    Isn’t this the result of privatisation of the water company’s in England and the shareholders put before the folks.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It’s that projection habit, “think it’s bad here, look at Scotland”…

    There is a serious lack of knowledge circulating over CSOs, STW discharge standards, and degrees of pollution in the media, the most misunderstood being the “raw sewage” headline which rarely if ever exists in reality.

    Scotland’s pollution levels are exemplary – For sure there is the inevitable emergency, overflows are the hydraulic equivalent of a circuit breaker, but without going into explanation of dilution effects and the array of simple and complex protections in play, you will almost NEVER EVER see a “raw sewage” discharge.

    Even with the multitude of pollution problems England struggles with, they are NOT raw sewage at all.
    Continuous polluting discharges to long rivers with slack gradients such as the Wye have caused embarrassment to HMG, just as they are hosting COP26.

    Hence the bizarre and totally misleading Herald/Ferret campaign, and this “think it’s bad here, look at Scotland” creation…

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Perhaps John, and Marina, should have read the whole story about the Clyde sewage incident.

    It was about an incident in 2016 and the Feb 2020 article was about the court case where the company was fined £19,000. There was no lasting environmental damage.

    The attempt in the Guardian to tar Scotland with the same brush was so obvious that it smelled to the high heaven and just begged for a deeper investigation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ms Hyde is the daughter of a baronet and granddaughter of a Conservative peer. She was educated at a selective girls private boarding school. So, she does ‘smug and superior’ effortlessly. She formerly wrote for The Sun. The majority of Guardian staff have fairly upper class/private educated backgrounds and nothing of importance happens outside north London and the ‘Home’ Counties. Scotland is ‘just too ridiculous to take seriously’ and Glasgow? Need we say more?? If you have read what Severin and Libby have written over the years, you KNOW how bad it is, doncha?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Vaguely related.

    Has anyone else noticed that there have been more articles mentioning Scotland, ScotGov and the FM recently? Maybe it’s just me…

    Granted they’re mostly about murders, NS getting in the neck about the “failing” pestering for indyref2 etc. That said, there was one about Tom Hanks praising the only typewriter technician in Scotland on behalf of writers.

    Yes, they’re nearly all either negative or, at best, a south of the Not-Border take on what north of the Not-Border thinks about… well, anything really but particularly indy. But they seem to be there.

    I’ve noticed it particularly in the Grauniad. Prior to this, whatever was going on up here, they all seemed to be some article from the 1920s reminiscing about encountering a Highland Cow or a thistle.

    Reminds me of a silly joke that may lighten the mood.

    What do you call an Aberdeen Angus with a machine gun?
    A military coo

    Ah, the oldies are the best…

    Liked by 2 people

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