Water pollution in the River Thames
The Environment Agency’s successful prosecution of Thames Water over a series of major pollution incidents on the River Thames was the subject of a new documentary aired by BBC 1 yesterday.
Defenders UK follows the work of enforcement officers from various agencies as they work to protect the public, with the second episode looking at the investigation that Environment Agency officer Rob Davis and his team carried out into the pollution incidents between 2012 and 2014.
The programme includes interviews with Rob and Toby Willison, the EA’s Executive Director of Operations, and looks at Rob and the team’s work to trace the source of the pollution to sewage treatment plants owned by Thames Water, resulting in the largest freshwater pollution case in the history of the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency’s work resulted not only in a successful prosecution that saw Thames Water ordered to pay more than £20 million – the biggest prosecution result following a pollution incident in England – but also the restoration of the river to the benefit of the natural environment and nearby communities. This work led to praise from members of the public, with a member of a local angling club telling the programme that: “The Environment Agency did a cracking job on this one. The clarity of the river is a lot better and the catches are way up.” Rob Davis, who carried out the investigation on the case, said: We hope that the £20m fine sends a loud and clear signal to the water industry, to all companies and individuals, and demonstrates that we will take very strong action wherever we find damage to the environment.
You can watch the full programme on BBC iPlayer here.