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Raw sewage pumped into river once again
AN ENVIRONMENTAL group hit out at Thames Water after raw sewage was pumped into the River Chess.
Members of the River Chess Association (RCA) have been left horrified after there was a discharge of sewage into the river, which runs through Chesham, on Sunday, from the Chesham Sewage Treatment Works (STW), operated by Thames Water.
In April last year, Thames Water doubled the storm water holding tanks and the group hoped it had seen the last of these sewage discharges.
RCA spokesman David Le Neve Foster said: "It's with regret that we have to announce that there was a discharge of sewage into the River Chess on Sunday. We had hoped we'd seen the last of these sewage discharges.
"Although legal and permitted by the STW licence, such discharges are undesirable in any river, let alone a chalk river of such high quality.
"The other concern is the large amount of sewage detritus, such as sanitary towels, in the river. Two items were snagged immediately below the outfall pipe and could only have come from the sewage works."
Because the group thought it had seen the last of the discharges over the summer, it embarked on a number of projects to improve water flows, fish mitigation and fish numbers.
Mr Le Neve Foster said: "Clean water is essential to the success of these projects so it's important that we resolve this discharge issue permanently."
Thames Water spokesman Craig Rance said: "Melting snow, heavy rain and very high groundwater led to exceptionally large flows entering Chesham sewage works over the weekend.
"This filled up the works' back-up storm water tanks, which were doubled in size in 2009 to reduce the risk of discharges. However, due to the sheer volume of incoming flows, heavily diluted waste water spilled into the River Chess.
"Although legal and permitted by the works' licence, such discharges are undesirable in any river, let alone a chalk stream of such high quality."
Mr Le Neve Foster said: "We appreciate that Thames Water staff did what could be done to minimise the volume of discharge, but a permanent solution is needed.
"We are arranging to meet with Thames Water to see what can be done to resolve this discharge problem and the other issue of sewage detritus."
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