RESIDENTS of Bourton-on-the-Water have raised concerns about the level of raw, untreated sewage that is flowing into two Cotswold rivers.

Gloucestershire group leader of the Liberal Democrats, Paul Hodgkinson, has written to Thames Water Utilities about the impact of their actions on the River Windrush and River Dikler.

He said residents have raised concerns about overload measures being used regularly by the company.

Their concerns are that the regular use of this overflow technique has led to incredibly high levels of bacteria within the river course, causing sewage fungus to form and damaging the fragile ecosystem.

Thames water have responded that this is untrue and that this measure is only used when there is no alternative.

In his letter, the group leader asks the interim executive chairman of Thames Water: "To do better than meeting the legal minimum standards, and to take a lead in ensuring the River Windrush/Dikler and all water courses under your management are healthy, clean and completely free of untreated sewage."

A spokesperson from Thames Water said: "We only allow wastewater to overflow into rivers when we have no alternative way of preventing people's homes and workplaces from being flooded with sewage.

"This is, of course, undesirable but it’s necessary when our storage capacity becomes overloaded following heavy rainfall.

"It is also the way the system was designed to operate.

"We are complying with all our permits and working hard to provide the best service we can in the current unusually wet winter, while also looking at how we can improve the system for the future."


Images provided by Windrush Against Sewage Pollution.