River sewage: Extinction Rebellion unveils blue plaques shaming MPs in Farnham, Alton and Guildford.
Climate activists against the dumping of untreated sewage into local chalk streams and rivers installed satirical blue plaques in Farnham, Alton, Godalming and Guildford last weekend to highlight the shocking state of our waterways.
It came as part of Extinction Rebellion’s National Dirty Water campaign, which highlights the inaction by the Government to address the ongoing problem of raw sewage and agricultural runoff polluting our waterways, including the Wey, The Arun and Cranleigh Waters.
The inscriptions on plaques exposed the voting record of local MPs, including SW Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt & Guildford & Cranleigh MP Angela Richardson, on October 20, 2021, when the Government failed to tighten environmental regulations and require water companies to dump less raw sewage in our waterways.
Did our Surrey MP’s let us down again?
Goodbye, Farnham, and hello, Godalming Cranleigh and Ash.
From the link above, you will see Jeremy Hunt is moving into Angela Richardson’s former territory, so will Guildford MP Angela Richardson follow his example and find a new constituency now having lost her old hunting ground in Cranleigh and the eastern villages? Although she’s already campaigning in Guildford.
Villagers in Cranleigh wondered why Cranleigh Lions didn’t invite Angela to rock up and turn on the Christmas lights this year and asked Jeremy instead. All the security and government cars did add a bit of celebrity to the popular annual event we hear.
In Gostrey Meadow, Farnham, a blue plaque stating, ‘The UK Government voted to block a law requiring water companies to dump less raw sewage in our waterways and seas’ was unveiled by members of Extinction Rebellion Waverley.
Grace Watts, aged 10, said she worries about the many ways humans are harming nature and actually destroying our own habitat. One way is by allowing our waters – our seas, rivers, lakes, ponds and streams – to become so filthy and toxic that they are becoming unsafe.”
Both our Waverley MPs, SW Surrey’s Jeremy Hunt and MP Angela Richardson, voted against tightening the rules. Woking MP Jonathan Lord voted against the Government.
3 thoughts on “Is it any wonder that SW Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt is dumping Farnham?”
We are a hairs breadth from a countrywide outbreak of cholera.
Desire for healthy dividends will be the fatal undoing of this land.
Cranleigh Waters has been badly polluted over the last 15 years, and fish stocks are very depleted downstream of the sewage works in Cranleigh. The reason for this is that Cranleigh Waters has a much reduced flow over summer months than it used to (presumably due to global warming causing low aquifer levels upstream), virtually drying up at times in July and August. But the discharge from the sewage works in Elmbridge Road has greatly increased in the last 15 years mostly because of all the new housing estates that have been built in Cranleigh. There is a defined formula for working out an acceptable dilution rate for the point where sewage works discharges into a river or other watercourse. Waverley Borough Council has had this pointed out to them by the Environment Agency, but that didn’t carry any weight with the Waverley Planning Committee who are not interested in environmental considerations. During summer months, the discharge from the sewage works is greater than the flow of Cranleigh Waters. Thames Water has built new filter beds to cope with the new housing, but all that does is to exacerbate the discharge quantity into an already stressed stream.
Ofwat Regulator explainer
“Storm overflow releases happen when the capacity of the sewerage system is at risk of being overwhelmed. There are different reasons this can happen. Ensuring sewerage systems are well maintained and have enough capacity to deal with the volumes of water and sewage passing through the pipes and treatment centres, helps reduce the need for Storm overflows.
Other things can also affect the capacity in the sewerage network such as population growth and development with more wastewater and rainwater run-off from new housing estates. Alongside that, is the collective impact of what is called urban creep, with changes to properties such as extensions, patios, paved-over gardens and driveways or astroturf, all of which reduce the amount of grass and soil available to soak up the rain, so water runs into the drains more quickly.”
Perhaps the environment and sewage should have a higher planning profile or is that just wishful thinking?