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MORE THAMES POLLUTION PROBLEMS

An investigation is under way after reports of the third pollution on a stretch of the River Thames in three weeks.

Residents and Thames Water say the latest incident happened over the Bank Holiday weekend. But the Environment Agency says inspectors could find no trace of pollution.

Discharges of  sewage have affected a stretch of the river from Bourne End to Cookham used for rowing and sailing by schools and boat clubs. Recent incidents are the result of a fault at a sewage treatment plant at nearby Little Marlow.

One riverside resident said: "The stench is terrible and the pollution is very unpleasant. Despite assurances these incidents continue to happen."

The problem is due for discussion at a meeting of the local River Users' Group next week (May 14th)

Thames Water who own the treatment plant said: ““We regrettably had another pollution incident from Little Marlow sewage works. We’re really sorry for the mess this caused.

“We’re investigating with a matter of urgency how this happened – despite the additional back-up systems we have already put in place.”

Thames Water said it had warned sailing and rowing clubs of the problem.

But the Environment Agency – the regulator for water quality – said: " We sent an Environment Officer to investigate on the 6 May (Bank Holiday Monday)and again on the morning of Tuesday 7. We found no evidence of this happening.

"The tests carried out showed the water quality was what we would expect. We identified no issues with the processes on site that would have lead to a storm discharge, the storm tanks were not full. Only final effluent was being discharged.

"There is still debris on the grill and river bed, it is possible that some of what people have reported could have been debris from a previous incident that has been distributed. Since then, Thames Water have had some more problems with pumps on site but this hasn’t led to further discharges.

"We will look at any photos people are sending to us and discuss this with Thames Water to explain as part of our ongoing investigation. However, our initial and timely investigation hasn’t found any evidence of a new pollution incident. "

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 A man has appeared in court after a charity coordinator tracked down stolen outboard motors.

The engines were vital to the work of Swan Lifeline at Eton. As reported in our recent story about a spate of thefts along the entire river, the charity was unable to continue its work of rescuing sick and  injured swans on the Thames after the motors were stolen.

But charity boss Wendy Hermon fought back.

When Wendy's husband spotted two engines on offer on auction website eBay the couple launched a plan to get them back. She put in an offer for one and won the auction.

When she and her husband went to collect it police were waiting and a Maidenhead man was arrested.

He was given a 12 month community order, including 200 hours of unpaid work, and told to pay £750 costs and £60 surcharge. He was also ordered to pay £430 compensation to the man who had bought the second motor on eBay.

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Tickets have gone on sale for the Inland Waterways Association National Waterways Festival at Cassiobury Park on the Grand Union Canal, Watford. Its on from Friday 19th July to Sunday 21st July.

This three day celebration of the waterways and includes hundreds of boats, exhibitors, food outlets.
See full event information: The Waterways Festival 2013

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A tiny island in the middle of the River Thames was the setting for a new play by drama students from St Mary's University College, Twickenham. Audiences for 'The Project' were to be rowed back and forth for the show on Ravens Ait island.

 
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