Thames Water has discharged sewage into the River Wey in Farnham Park, Churt and Bentley in recent days.
It comes during a prolonged rainy spell caused by the southern tip of Storm Babet late last week and continuing into this week.
There have been two discharges at Bentley. One lasted almost three hours from 6.15am into the River Wey last Friday (October 20), while another began at 5.15am on Wednesday, October 25, and lasted around the same amount of time.
The Farnham Park discharge almost three hours from 1.45am into a Wey tributory last Friday, and the Churt discharge 20 minutes from 1.02am into Whitmoor Vale Stream on the same day.
Sewage is discharged into rivers across the UK and Ireland on a daily basis. This isn’t an isolated problem; it occurs up and down the country, affecting urban city centre rivers and pristine chalk streams alike.
The Rivers Trust's Sewage Map includes information on where and when this happens, empowering local people to take action and make informed decisions about where they swim, paddle, catch and play.
Thames Water has published the following improvement plans for its sewage treatment works (STWs) locally:
An upgrade is planned for Alton STW. This scheme will ensure a higher quality of treated effluent going to the river. We expect the project to be complete in 2025. We're also upgrading the storm tanks at the local Newmans Lane Pumping Station at a cost of over £5 million, which will reduce the need for untreated sewage discharges during storm conditions. The scheme is due for completion in late 2023.
Bentley STW is being upgraded at a cost of more than £6 million. This project will increase the capacity of the storm tanks, so reduce the need for untreated sewage discharges during storm conditions. We will also be improving the quality of treated effluent going to the river. The schemes are due for completion in early 2023 and into 2025.
Thames Water is also investigating the impact of groundwater on the sewer network in this area. This will help inform its long-term planning.
An upgrade is planned for Bordon STW. This will improve its ability to treat the volumes of incoming sewage as well as providing a higher quality of treated effluent going to the river. Thames Water expects these projects to complete in 2026.
An upgrade is planned for Farnham STW. This scheme will ensure a higher quality of treated effluent going to the river. Thames Water expects the project to complete in 2024.