Socialist Worker

Human and animal sewage contaminate flood water

Issue No. 2391

Flood waters bring contamination from overflowing sewers and drains.

Toilet paper pushed up from sewers is a common sight on some Basingstoke streets.

The Somerset Levels are soiled with human and animal waste. 

Water there is rising again after intensive pumping began to erode the banks of the River Parrett.

John Rudge lives in Westonzoyland in Somerset. 

He told Socialist Worker, “Looking from my house over the flooded fields I can see at least eight giant piles of manure that the farmers would put out.

“And a lot of people have private drainage. Floods wash the whole septic tank out into the water.”

In London there have been at least 13 discharges of sewer water into the Thames this winter. 

But Thames Water—which paid out some £3.6 billion to shareholders since 2000—has not invested in the sustainable drainage systems that could stop the overspill.

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