Tag Archive for 'thames river'

River Thames Bursts Banks, Flooding Homes Near London

Photo retrieved from: www.online.wsj.com

“As of late Monday, the Environment Agency had severe flood warnings—meaning there is a danger to life—for 14 areas in the southeast of England and two in the southwest, one of the hardest hit regions. It also warned that flooding was expected and immediate action required for 131 further areas across England and Wales, with the highest risk seen in the Midlands, southeast and southwest of the country, and flooding was also possible in a further 216 areas.

The Thames Barrier, one of the largest movable flood barriers in the world, closed Monday morning and would be closed again later until early hours of Tuesday, the agency said. Since the beginning of January 2014 the barrier, designed to protect 125 square kilometers of central London from flooding caused by tidal surges, has been closed 29 times.

“Extreme weather will continue to threaten communities this week, with further severe flooding expected Monday evening into Tuesday along the Thames in [the counties of] Berkshire and Surrey,” Paul Leinster, the chief executive of the Environment Agency, said in a statement. “River levels are high across southwest, central and southern England and further rain has the potential to cause significant flooding.”

Significant groundwater flooding was also expected in the southeast, including parts of London, the agency said.”

Read more: The Wall Street Journal


Thames Water’s dilemma: flood Heathrow or a river with sewage?

Retrieved from: www.guardian.co.uk

“Imagine the scene: tens of thousands of tonnes of sewage have backed up behind a jammed gate and a decision has to be made – to flood one of the world’s busiest airports or inundate a small river very few people know exist.

It is a stark version of the choices made daily around the planet between costly economic infrastructure and the natural world: inevitably, the River Crane, and its populations of perch, eels, kingfishers and dragonfly larvae, lost.

The Environment Agency, the UK’s official enforcement body, now reports almost the entire west London river has been “killed” by the huge influx of grey sludge washed down the toilets and drains of nearby Heathrow airport, starting last Saturday night. Experts, who estimate 3,000 fish are floating dead in and along the oxygen-starved Thames tributary, say it will take “months, probably years” to recover. Anglers and other people are being warned to stay out of the water in the seven mile stretch from the A4 to the River Thames at Twickenham, though the risk to the Thames itself is thought to be low.

Thames Water issued an apology in which the company said engineers battled for hours to free the jammed sluice gate and commandeered 20 trucks to haul sewage away by road before being:”

Read more: Guardian


How The Environment Agency Has Spun The News On River Quality

A clean-up operation of the Thames at Brentford, south-west London. Retrieved from: www.guardian.co.uk

“But we must take the EA’s words with a heavy pinch of salt. The Wandle, which it says has “become a vibrant rich habitat due to better environmental regulation”, was massively polluted only a few years ago when Thames Water spilled thousands of gallons of industrial-strength chlorine into it; and only three months ago 450,000 tonnes of raw sewage escaped into the Thames, killing fish and leaving pollution.

However, the greater spin is to suggest that these and other English rivers are in good nick. The 10 rivers chosen here have been carefully selected and do not reflect the true status of our rivers, most of which are suffering because of abstraction, sewage, blockages to fish passes and other pollution.

What the government has done is to measure these rivers via what is called the General Quality Assessment (GQA). This assesses the water quality by the levels of oxygen demand (BOD), ammonia and dissolved oxygen found in the water. By this measure, rivers are indeed improving across the board and it is correct to say there has been a steady improvement in quality for 20 years, with 70% of rivers reaching “good” or “fair” standard.”

Read more: Guardian


Water Desalination Plant Opens For Testing In Beckton, London

Photo retrieved from: www.guardian.co.uk

“Polluted water from the river Thames is being cleaned and put into London‘s water supply in Britain’s first large-scale attempt to artificially increase supplies using desalination.

The £270m Thames Gateway water treatment works in Beckton, east London, was commissioned last year but has only been fully tested in the last few weeks.

The 875m litres produced so far is said to be so clean it has to be treated with salts and other chemicals to make it taste roughly the same as tap water.

“We’ve been running the desalination plant intermittently at one-sixth output – not because we’ve needed to but rather as part of the testing of the works and the training of its personnel. It’s there if we need it,” said Simon Evans of Thames Water.

The technology, which is mostly used in water-stressed areas of the Middle East, was brought to London after Thames Water argued in a 2006 public inquiry that new sources were needed, with climate change threatening hotter, drier summers and an additional 700,000 people predicted to move to the capital by 2021.”

Read more: Guardian


Thames Water Fined For Basingstoke Canal Pollution


More than 200 fish died during the pollution incident at the Basingstoke Canal in Woking. Photo retrieved from: www.bbc.co.uk

“A water company has been fined £12,000 after admitting allowing untreated sewage to enter a Surrey canal.

The Environment Agency investigated after more than 300 fish were found dead at the Basingstoke Canal in Woking in September 2009.

Thames Water admitted at Woking Magistrates’ Court. to allowing pollution to enter the canal.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for the company said it admitted responsibility for a “deeply upsetting incident.”

She said: “Any pollution incident is one too many and although these are few and far between, we continue to work to eliminate them all together.”

‘Gasping for life’

Following the incident, the company spent £40,000 to restore the quality of the water and investigate the cause, she added.

Readings taken by the Environment Agency at the time found high levels of oxygen and ammonium. The number of dead fish included roach, bream, perch and gudgeon.”

Read more: BBC