Archive for April, 2024

‘Dirty secret’: insiders say UK water firms knowingly break sewage laws

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Whistleblowers say UK water companies are knowingly failing to treat legally required amounts of sewage, and that some treatment works are manipulating wastewater systems to divert raw sewage away from the works and into rivers and seas.

It is well known that water companies are dumping large volumes of raw sewage into rivers and seas from storm overflows but an investigation by the Guardian and Watershed Investigations reveals that the industry’s “dirty secret” is bigger, broader and deeply systemic.

By law, every wastewater treatment works must treat a minimum amount of sewage as stipulated in their environmental permits. Four whistleblowers have told Watershed that a large proportion regularly fail to do so and are not reporting it to the environmental regulator.

PFAS investigation now a scientific paper

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The work of the Forever Pollution Project, of which Watershed is a part, has been published in the scientific journal, Environmental Science and Technology. It sets out the methodology used to map PFAS contamination in Europe and the lessons learned from this pioneering expert-reviewed journalism project.

With thanks to Stephane Horel, Alissa Cordner, Phil Brown, Ian Cousins, Martin Scheringer, Derrick Salvatore, Kimberly Garrett, Gretta Goldenman, Luc Martinon, Catharina Felke, Gary Dagorn, Raphaelle Aubert, Nadja Tausche, Daniel Drepper, Gianluca Liva, Sarah Pilz, Ana Tudela Flores, Antonio Delgado, Emmanuel Morimont, Romane Bonneme.

Watershed - Investigative Journalism