Julie Marson, Member of Parliament for Hertford and Stortford, has pressed Thames Water Chief Executive Alastair Cochran on sewage discharges into the rivers Lea, Rib and Beane.
In a letter dated 2nd November, the local MP highlighted recent discharges, noting particular concern for those who enjoy swimming in these waters.
Julie also drew attention to the Government's Plan for Water which sets out more investment, stronger regulation, and tougher enforcement to tackle every source of pollution. She also requested Mr Cochran to furnish her with Thames Water’s performance data as well as information on the discharges specifically in her constituency.
Richard Aylard, Thames Water’s Sustainability Director, has responded to Julie. In his response, he reaffirmed the company’s desire to make these discharges unnecessary as quickly as possible. He highlighted eight consented discharge locations during the period 25th October – 1st November in Hertford and Stortford. Of these, Thames Water’s data shows that the company had discharges during this period at two of them.
Commenting on the response she received, Julie said:
“Thames Water’s action to remedy the issue of sewage discharges to enhance our local rivers is great to see. This issue has rightly received great public interest over the last couple of years and I am on the side of local people to clean up our rivers.
“The Government’s work in increasing the monitoring of storm overflows from 7% in 2010 to the expectation of 100% by the end of the year has allowed us to identify the scale of this issue. That is why I am going to work to ensure the Government’s Plan for Water is delivered in Hertford and Stortford and to make sure water companies are putting in the necessary investment to achieve this.
“£1.25 billion of Thames Water investment during the period 2020-2025 to maintain and improve their wastewater network and sewage works is a significant step. Ultimately, this will make our rivers healthier, allowing more local people to enjoy them.”