Dirty Water Firms In The UK

 In Environment, Health

I have despised the water companies for most of my life. The brook I used to fish in as a kid was ruined by them. They cut all the trees and shrubs along the bank to speed up the flow of water during floods. That, we now realize, was a disaster. We actually need to slow down the water to prevent flooding. A recent article in The Times on their salaries has not helped. For instance, Liv Garfield, the CE of Severn Trent Water, was paid £2.8 million last year. That is more than £12000 per day! That was the same year as the company was fined £800,000 for discharging sewage into the Row Brook. That is around Acton Burnell and close to Shrewsbury, where I was a child. Dirty water firms in the UK are an environmental and health disaster.

Adding Insult to injury

The second highest salary was Steve Mogford, the CE of United Utilities. He was paid £2.94 million and a total of £12.3 million since 2017. However, four years ago that company pumped more than 21 million litres of untreated sewage into the River Medlock. They were fined £660,000 after pleading guilty. The shareholders of these shit dumpers probably had no sleepless nights over this. Collectively, the water companies paid out more than £15 billion pounds since 2010. I wrote about the leaking pipes of these water companies when I lived in Dorset. There was no identified sewage problem then because we didn’t look hard enough.

Dirty water firms in the UK

Is it me or are we all mugs? I find these salaries quite unbelievable. The politicians set up the water companies to increase efficiency and all they do is pay themselves and shareholders a fortune. What right had politicians to sell our water? Meanwhile, shit flows down rivers, those rivers having less and less water. What we should really be doing is paying water companies to sell less water. They need to encourage people to remove inefficient flushing toilets. They need to stop people building swimming pools. But why would they worry about rivers, springs and wells; it’s not their concern? My photo is the stream in Deep Dale, now all dried up each summer.

The big picture

I was shocked when an Environment Agency employee talked about getting the water companies to listen. I realised then that the water companies set their own rules. What we really need is an agency that controls all water, all the flooding and the environment that is implicated with our water. Currently, nobody is really in control. We need to re-wild our high country in order to hold back water, and to filter it before it reaches the rivers. Then, we need to reduce water usage by making low consumption cheaper and high consumption dearer. Farmers, quite simply, must stop using artificial fertilisers, which are very soluble. Then, we need to ban toilet and other cleansers that are not environmentally friendly. However, it’s money that talks and this will not happen. Water might be a national life force but we mugs have no power.

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