Pollution problems on the non-tidal Thames have reached Parliament.

The news comes as the Environment Agency has installed monitoring equipment in the river after the series of pollution incidents at Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

Over recent months raw sewage has been discharged into the river after equipment breakdowns at a Thames Water treatment plant.

Lord Campbell-Savours, who lives nearby, has tabled a number of questions in the House of Lords. They ask for details of the discharges, when the EA and river users were informed of the problems and what the solution is..

Meanwhile the equipment alerts the agency when water quality reaches critical levels.

And the local River User Group wants the alerts to be forwarded on to its members as well.

A stretch of river downstream of the sewage treatment plant to Bourne End and Cookham has been affected. It is used by a number of rowing and sailing clubs and includes a marina.

The latest incident was over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

Bob King, chairman of the river user group which covers Henley to Maidenhead, said: “We are very concerned and have been monitoring the situation.

“We are told it is down to equipment failures and there is little likelihood of a short-term solution.”

Boaters and riverside residents say the stench is intolerable and the water discoloured with floating solid matter.

Thames Water said: ““Having disappointingly had another sewage spill from Little Marlow , the site is now in a much more stable condition and we believe that we have the situation under control.

“The long term performance of this works remains a top priority and we have a dedicated team working on permanent solutions to the issues that have been troubling the site. We’re really sorry for the mess caused by these incidents and continue to do as much as we can to clean up.”

Story dated May 18th 2013



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