“SOMETHING’S ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF ETON WICK”
Sadly, the titles of Roundmoor Ditch and Boveney Ditch belie the beautiful, clear water stream which surrounds our village, extending from Dorney Common down to the Thames. Over the years the stream has become abundant with plant and fish species, wildlife, birdlife, waterfowl and is enjoyed by villagers and visitors alike.
During the recent floods the stream broke its banks. When the water receded residents were appalled to find adjacent land, banks and the stream bed coated in slimy, malodorous effluent; identifiable human waste could also be clearly seen as the water flowed. Dead fish floated to the top, wildlife and wildfowl were found dead in the reeds. The stream had become an open sewer. Lengthy investigations revealed the Environment Agency issued an open ended licence to Thames Water on 19/1 to discharge raw sewage into our village stream. Neither body advised residents, wildlife organisations or posted notices alerting villagers to the contamination and public safety requirements. Consequently, residents and their pets became ill and wildlife suffered without rescue.
We have fought for EA/TW to come clean about the practice and explain why residents were not informed. On 6/2 EA did advise Public Health England and the local authority, sadly it was not RWBM but South Bucks! We alerted residents close to the stream and their complaints have started to make a difference.
On 4/3 a number of residents received a TW letter Ref: BB967736 minimising this serious incident. On 5/3 EA verbally confirmed TW will be held accountable for the pollution and will be responsible for cleaning the stream, banks, gardens and making repairs/recompense to residents and landowners as required. Please note, TW/EA will not openly advertise this fact; they expect every person affected to contact TW directly.
TW continue to discharge raw sewage despite significantly reduced water levels. Short term we would like to ensure emissions are ceased and TW publicise and undertake a comprehensive programme of works to clean/replenish the stream and make recompense. Long term we wish to ensure such emergencies are communicated effectively by all agencies with speed, plus question the level of TW local investment and legislative options to assure water quality and prevent the stream being used as a dumping ground once more. We have listed below the latest contact details for TW/EA together with our local representatives. Please also contact firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any information or would like to help in resolving these issues. We are hoping residents will voice their concerns and highlight the issue with TW/EA and local representatives.
Please, make your views known.
Dir. External Affairs & Sustainability
Tel: 01793 366011
Tel: 01491 828634
Head of Public Protection
Tel: 01628 683598
Councillor Samantha Rayner
Adam Afriyie MP
Eton Town Council