An influential Parliamentary Committee has hit out at the water industry for not doing enough to improve the water quality in rivers.

The Science and Technology Select Committee has been considering the effect of a proposed  EU ban on certain pharmaceuticals which effect water quality and the health of fish. Their report has been welcomed by the Angling Trust

While Brussels gathers more evidence on the oestrogen-based pharmaceuticals the water industry and the Government should be preparing for tighter regulation say the MPs. Their report says:”Chemical pollution can poison aquatic organisms, damage ecosystems and threaten human health."

Committee chairman Andrew Miller said: “The water industry has threatened to increase its customers’ bills by £100 per year if these chemicals are regulated. There have previously been criticisms of the water industry’s approach to innovation and we have seen no evidence that this has improved in recent years.

“We are not convinced that the industry is giving enough priority to developing innovative solutions to improving water quality.

“It seems content instead to simply pass the burden of increased costs to its customers. In addition, the Government should be more pro-active in providing clear information to Parliament about the potential financial impact of such proposals.”

 Angling Trust chief executive, Mark Lloyd said :  "The Trust is delighted that this powerful all-party committee calls on the water companies to remove these gender-bending chemicals from waste water before they reach our rivers and damage wildlife. 

"Anglers have traditionally been the environmental custodians of our rivers and waterways and have repeatedly campaigned on this issue." 

Read the full report HERE

 Meanwhile river water quality was on the agenda at a Thames Navigation Users Forum meeting set for Monday (June 24th). It follows a number of overflows of sewage from Thames Water’s Little Marlow treatment works in Buckinghamshire which has resulted in pollution along a stretch of the river which includes boat clubs and a marina.

As a result the Environment Agency has installed monitoring equipment in the river – live details of which can be found HERE

After a separate incident downstream Thames Water was fined £17,500 after admitting polluting the River Ash at Shepperton which saw hundreds of fish die.

North Surrey Magistrates’ Court in Staines heard that around 4,300 fish were affected in a one-and-a-half mile stretch of the river after a blunder at a water treatment plant.

Story dated June 21st 2013

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