Isn’t it time we treated the pollution of our rivers by private water firms as government policy?

Rivers of Shit: isn’t it time we admitted to ourselves that it is government policy to let privatised water company shareholders pump untreated sewage into our rivers and seas and take the money saved from not treating it – along with money that should have been used to modernise the water and sewage infrastructure – as profit, while blinding the regulators that are supposed to monitor and penalise these transgressions so that we cannot know the extent of the harm?

This Site has been quiet about the ongoing crisis of the UK’s waterways being polluted with thousands of tonnes of untreated sewage lately. The reason is simply that individual stories – snapshots – don’t give you a chance to appreciate the full horror of what is happening.

The following video clip might help, though.

In it, Professor Jamie Woodward points out that not only has the government allowed privatised water firms to dump all that toxic waste into the local ecosystem, but it has slashed the budget of the regulator that is supposed to monitor any such pollution, down to one-third of what it used to be – and some may say that this wasn’t enough in the first place:

With only limited means of monitoring pollution by water companies, the regulator has no way of knowing the level of harm being done. This could then be flung in all our faces by the government if we try to complain that we’re being pelted with you-know-what so that these firms can make a profit. It could be used as an excuse to do nothing.

In fact, the following suggests that it is currently being used as such an excuse:

But with no meaningful enforcement from the Environment Agency or the government, there is no reason for the water companies to stop polluting the UK.

It’s a lot more profitable than actually doing their job, which is to treat our sewage so that nothing harmful escapes into the environment at all.

The upshot of all this is that we get warnings like this:

Also this:

One water company – Thames Water – seemed to be facing re-nationalisation because its business plan was not only harmful to the environment but had brought it to the brink of bankruptcy…

And what happened?

That’s right – shareholders promised to invest, in order to keep the money flowing to them and the crap flowing at us.

And it seems that while we’ve been gagging on the crap they’re pumping at us, Thames Water bosses have been gagging their own employees:

Then we discovered that the firm is planning to increase its bills, to save itself from collapse. There is not even the slightest hint that any of that money will be used to purify the water it pumps into our rivers.

And what use is purified water when the pipes through which it runs are made of lead – and are therefore toxic – because the water companies haven’t replaced the infrastructure, as they were expected to?

The infrastructure is also leaking around 1.1 TRILLION litres of water out of the system every year, according to Ofwat. Then the water companies tell us we have to have hosepipe bans. They are telling us to go without the service we deserve so they can have the profit they don’t.

The following report actually states in black-and-white that this is what is happening:

Here are a few more barmy ideas – appropriately from the boss of Thames Water – along with appropriate commentary from our friend Feargal Sharkey:

Piling even more insult on top of all this injury, one of the worst-performing water companies was named company of the year at the Water Industry Awards, 2023:

Remember that you have a human right to water, meaning that if one of the privatised companies fails, the state has to pick up the bill to put it right via renationalisation.

So, far from being the salvation of this vital national utility – as it has been described recently by ministers pointing out that investment in water was a very low priority when it was privatised – the sale of water to private shareholders has destroyed our system while the people causing the damage have extracted huge fortunes from it.

And the government that should have been safeguarding the interests of customers who are forced to rely on these large monopoly businesses has deliberately blinded the watchdog organisations.

That is enemy action. Your government – and the water firms – are your enemies; they are charging you a fortune to let them poison you.

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2 thoughts on “Isn’t it time we treated the pollution of our rivers by private water firms as government policy?

  1. Hecuba

    Fascist tories only care about ensuring all these private water companies never ever have to be charged with endangering public health! Very soon water will be undrinkable because these private water companies are polluting all our rivers and waterways so outbreaks of cholera and typhoid will become a reality!

    DEFRA too is a pawn of the fascist tories and Denise Coffey only acts to protect her master that carpet salesman Rishi Sunak. How dare Greenpeace drape oil black fabric over Sunak’s lavish and extravagant home! Sunak is a politician so he must expect to be subjected to peaceful protest action! Greenpeace are correct fascist tories have always ignored expert environmental scientists because profit is the only subject fascist tories are interested in hearing!

    DEFRA is a useless pawn of the fascist tories because they have decimated staff at this department.

    Can’t wait for the fascist tories to announce water rationing and don’t worry all the bottled water will be distributed primarily to the greedy money grabbing fascist tories not us peasants!

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