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The charity London Waterkeeper has launched an online petition calling on the Environment Agency and Ofwat to instruct Thames Water to double its planned efforts to reduce the number of polluting outfalls into streams and rivers. 

london waterkeeper logoText of petition

Dear Environment Agency and Ofwat,

In Thames Water's recently submitted Business Plan it proposed a 2.5x increase in tackling the number of river polluting surface water outfalls (PSWOs) between 2020-25. This isn't enough.

As the regulators of the water industry we call on you to defend London's rivers and instruct Thames Water to increase by 5x the efforts to reduce the number of polluting outfalls, compared to the current Business Plan. This would set the target at 1,000.

At the moment Thames Water has a highly effective team which investigates and rectifies this problem. Unfortunately it is just too small. With a 5x boost to resources many more rivers will be improved.

We need action because all of London's rivers fail the Water Framework Directive. These polluted rivers flow through public parks, putting health at risk and making rivers off-limits to local people when instead they should be able to enjoy them. The Environment Agency's WISER document doesn't give a high enough priority to the pollution of urban rivers by outfalls, particularly in London, and so lets them down.

Research by the Zoological Society of London has calculated that there are more than 1,000 PSWOs just in London (Tackling Pollution in London's Rivers 2017). In addition the Environment Agency has almost 200 drains on its waiting list. Sometimes it has been as high as 300.

We need decisive and effective action and look to you, the regulators. You have a legal duty to protect our rivers from pollution.

This opportunity to significantly improve the health of London's rivers only happens once every five years, please take it.

Yours sincerely,

**Your Signature**

Links

Online petition

London Waterkeeper home page

Report: Tackling Pollution in London's Rivers

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