2 Billion Liters of Untreated Waste Spills into River Thames

Feb. 21, 2022

Mogden Wastewater Treatment Works was inundated with extra waste due to heavy rain. 

Mogden Wastewater Treatment Works in Isleworth, London, released 2 billion liters of untreated waste into the Thames on Oct. 3 and 4, 2020, according to a news report from Metro.co.uk.

Half a billion liters of waste from the site spilled into the river in the whole of 2016, reported Metro News. Sarah Bentley, chief executive of Thames Water, said that Mogden was inundated with extra waste due to heavy rain. 

"Water quality in the River Thames in London has improved significantly in recent years since the Lee Tunnel has been operating and Thames Water invested in upgrading five sewage treatment works including Mogden,” said an Environment Agency spokesperson, reported Metro News. “However, our routine compliance monitoring activities have flagged the need for further investigations into operations at the Mogden site. Water companies are required to provide a record of sewage discharged into our waterways and have a legal duty to avoid pollution. They must act quickly to reduce any damage that happens as a result of their activities.”

According to Metro News, January’s Water Quality and Rivers Report showed the amount of raw sewage leaking into the Thames has soared in recent years. Approximately 3.5 billion liters of raw sewage contaminated the river in 2020.

Mogden has eight storm tanks at the moment which currently hold about 40 Olympic-sized swimming pools of storm water contaminated with sewage, according to the report, reported Metro News.

“We regard all discharges of untreated sewage as unacceptable and will work with the government, Ofwat and the Environment Agency to accelerate work to stop them being necessary,” said a Thames Water spokesperson, reported Metro News.

Thames Water has committed to providing sewage discharge notifications from all of its 468 permitted discharge points by the end of 2022. Data collected by The Telegraph revealed that water companies are also releasing raw sewage into rivers more than 1,000 times a day, and more than a third of these discharges occurred when there was no heavy rain.

Read related content about wastewater: 

About the Author

Cristina Tuser