Raw sewage has been dumped into the River Thames by Thames Water.

A sewage release alert was posted this afternoon from a automatic notification Twitter account, stating the release came from Witney Sewage Treatment Works.

The tweet said: “We wanted to let you know about a recent sewage release at WITNEY STW. The release started at 14:15 on 23/10/2022.

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“We’ll notify you at 06:00 tomorrow morning if the release is still happening.”

This is not the first time the water company has released raw sewage into the River Thames and the controversial practice has received much backlash from the community to use and live near the water ways.

One the river health section of the Thames Water website the company states: “Putting untreated sewage into rivers is unacceptable to us, to our customers and to the environment.

“But after heavy rain, it is sometimes necessary, and permitted, as a last resort to prevent it from flooding homes, gardens, streets, and open spaces.

“We're working hard to make these discharges unnecessary, with the help of the Government, Ofwat and the Environment Agency.”

A Thames Water spokesperson told this newspaper: "Due to the heavy rainfall experienced across our catchment today we have unfortunately had to allow a consented discharge of sewage (tightly monitored and within agreed quality levels) to the river from our Witney STW.

"The overflows from our sites are designed to operate automatically when the sewage works are overwhelmed, and release diluted wastewater (by the large amounts of rainwater) into rivers rather than letting it back up into people’s homes.

"Despite this we regard all discharges of untreated sewage as unacceptable and are working hard to accelerate work to stop them being necessary across our catchment area.

"This work includes increasing sewage treatment capacity at a number of our sewage works across the Thames Valley, including Witney, which will be complete by 2025.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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