Is England polluting its rivers and lakes with raw sewage up to 300 times more intensively?

375 000 times by water companies last year!

BBC 1 at 1pm today announced the above shocking figure.

In Scotland, according to the Ferret and the National there were 12 725 incidents in the same year.

How does that compare?

Well, do we do the usual 10 times the population thing or take account of Scotland’s area or quantity of water supply? On that basis, per head of population, England’s water companies are discharging sewage more than three times as often.

In terms of area England is less than twice as big at 130 000 sq km to 78 000, so is, per sq km, discharging around 20 to 30 times as much.

In terms of water courses, including lochs, Scotland has 90% of the UK total, so England is discharging around 30 times as much into only 10% of the water supply, so 300 times the intensity of the pollution?

I’d welcome the application of superior numeracy from any reader who can improve the above calculations.

12 thoughts on “Is England polluting its rivers and lakes with raw sewage up to 300 times more intensively?

  1. The maths is simple.
    Obviously Scotland is polluting far more often, and to a far worse extent than England.

    *checks textbook”
    I was using the Unionist Book of Maths there by mistake.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. As far as BBC Scotland is concerned, Water in England is privatised, ergo MUCH more efficient than any public utility – this is a FACT, like the Law of Gravity.

    Scottish Water is publicly owned, ergo BAAAAAD, and even worse because of THAT ESSEMMPEE Government, and worser since thae Greens are in Government.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. All part in England of taking back control and getting Brexit done
    The UK if still in the EU would have had massive fines slapped upon us for singularly failing in environmental standards
    Boris as always as he repeats often does indeed “have a plan” and in these matters as air and water pollution grows exponentially, then at least 1 of his plans is indeed progressing extremely well

    This is another sure fire sign of a Failing state
    Who has the duty to protect,feed, house,keep warm and maintain good health of its citizens Opps sorry we not citizens
    We are merely subjects constituniously
    And whilst on the subject of maths
    In 1914 the UK was the 2nd richest nation in GDP terms globally
    Today 28 th
    And in terms of spending power of average income for the basics and essentials UK has accelerated down the global league from 2nd place to 58 th
    That clearly demonstrates
    A collapsing state

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The number of discharges is largely meaningless to be honest, it’s the volume and duration of discharge and the dilution given by the receiving waters which are the important measures of gauging pollution, and who is monitoring it.
    The damage caused by a Plymouth CSO to the sea or a Leeds CSO to the river are massive compared to Craigellachie or Perth, yet they count as the same by the quantum the Ferret are using, it’s false equivalence.

    SEPA have worked hand in hand with Scottish Water to prioritise overflow mitigations as well as successfully convince the worst land offenders to remedy for decades, NOT so in England…
    George Monbiot’s report last year on the 250km long River Wye is a good example of what simply could NOT be allowed to happen in Scotland.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. By way of expansion to the above point, consider that almost urban conurbations grew alongside rivers being a source of water.
      The problem for England particularly has been topographic, slack gradients, whereas the majority of England suffers from it, in Scotland this tends to happen the sea.

      In context, typhus and cholera were the scourge of London until Joseph Bazalgette was forced to address the problem in the mid to late 1800s.
      Only after he had built purpose built sewers and Beckton STW at the end of a 346km long Thames did London’s mantle as the city to smell and die for passed to Naples.
      The bigger picture of course didn’t dawn on the Victorians over hydraulic capacity, so as the population exploded so did the problems.

      By way of comparison, the Tay is the longest river in Scotland at 188km but with sparse population levels on it’s journey to the sea – As Perth expanded at the foot of the Tay, the problem of flooding during a high tide was the only real issue rather than typhus or cholera, “simple” hydraulics.
      The same largely applies to the Dee catchment even if I’ve limited if no sympathy for some incoming residents .

      In short, much though we may enjoy our gorgeous landscapes and deplore the grey skies, we really don’t quite realise how lucky we really are whilst breathing through a snorkel… The rain in Scotland flushes the crap away…. DRoss, Sarwar and ACH-Him excepted.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Flooding in Perth City occurred in only a few years about 20 years ago. This was attributed to permitting housing developments on the Tay’s flood plain before the river reaches Perth. Because meltwater and heavy rains were constrained from spilling on to the land, the heavy volume continued into Perth where it spilled into the Inches and from there into neighbouring properties. Flood control measures were put in place until flood prevention measures were put in place, upstream. In addition, since then, beavers now live in the headwaters of the Tay and their actions despite the actions of some farmers mitigate flooding. Beavers have been seen in Perth.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. My apologies for the contradiction Alasdair, but the excuse given was and remains a nonsense as much as it was in Kilkenny, Ireland where they spent millions attempting to solve the exact same problem whilst blaming the latest development.
          The original Perth flood plain was not caused by a volume of water coming down the Tay but because it had nowhere to go when it met the tide coming the other way…

          A storm flow meeting an incoming estuarial tide is like two “brick walls”, hundreds of thousands of tonnes of water colliding with each – Short of a development stretching to hundreds of hectares, an entire housing development would be a tiny fraction of the flow hitting that brick wall, but convenience beats engineering explanations when political reputations are on the line.

          The solution to flood control is to ensure it happens upstream of the problem area and control it’s flow downstream, a modern development of flood plains if you will.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. 100 % correct
            Mitigate the downstream problem by massive tree planting in catchment areas and creation of temp.flood areas
            If massive rain & melt waters happen to occur at
            Certain but rare weather systems in conjunction with high spring and Autumn tides then you in big trouble
            That is why rising sea levels are so dangerous
            Because in aforementioned
            Conditions then a 1.0 M sea rise becomes at least 10 M in reality
            Such weather conditions required for East Coast of Scotland is a very deep low
            Above Shetland moving South and a similar one off the Bay of Biscay moving North, squeezing the English channel and North sea upwards in height
            Resulting in a disaster costing Billions to say the least
            So spend a penny upstream and save a £ downstream

            Liked by 1 person

  5. The ballad of Easy Profits (Englandshire).

    The turds, they flow,
    Flow to the sea,
    And where these turds go,
    thats where I dont want to be.
    Flow turds, flow.
    Let the waters wash down
    Take the sewage off,
    to some other town.
    All we want, was to be free,
    from all the sh!t and pee,
    Flow river flow!

    Apologies to the Byrds.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. O/T From time to time one hears criticisms from Unionists about the time it takes the Scottish Government to implement new policies. Such charges are made without context or perspective. So here is – for future reference – some of the latter.

    Published today, the Institute for Fiscal Studies comments on the restarting of the Westminster government’s ‘managed migration’ of people on legacy benefits or tax credits to Universal Credit. (As of April 2022 there were still 2.6 million claimants of legacy benefits.)

    In the IFS report we learn this: ‘The government now aims to complete the process of moving all legacy claims over to universal credit BY THE END OF 2024.

    ‘If achieved, that would finally bring the rollout of universal credit to a close, about a decade after it began and ABOUT SEVEN YEARS LATER THAN THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S NOVEMBER 2010 WHITE PAPER ENVISAGED (this set out a provisional timetable that would have seen the rollout completed by October 2017).’ (my emphasis)

    Of course the DWP has all the powers in its own hands to implement these changes. Unlike the Scottish Government when it is introducing social security reforms to replace UK-wide schemes, the DWP is not dependent at all on inter-governmental co-operation.


    Liked by 4 people

    1. Stewartb
      And to add to your excellent insights as to Westminster and the DWP
      Apparently Rishi Shunak asked the DWP if more monies could be paid to UC clients to mitigate cost of living and energy costs
      The reply he got via The Civil Service Union was that is now
      Impossible and particularly so for those on legacy benefits as the computing software is 25 yrs yrs and despite numerous requests for major upgrades which were all denied
      And now all work involved
      Can only been done manually and take yrs to do so with current staffing levels,thereby creating uproar amongst all involved

      Liked by 5 people

  7. I’m wondering what happened to the predictions or promises when water was privatised in England that that was the only way to get investment in the infrastructure which was in severe need of urgrading then but clearly has never happened nor is it likely to.
    Instead all the excess charges supposedly to fund the promised upgrades have simply resulted in lining pockets of the shareholders. The same is happening with electricity companies who have been allowed to rip us of with excessive increases for standing charges to milk even greater profits.

    Liked by 1 person

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