‘Wake up’ – Activists warn of sewage threat to Lincolnshire’s waterways
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Members of Extinction Rebellion Lincolnshire assembled on Lincoln’s High Bridge, encouraging people to challenge their local water authority over the condition of local rivers.
Joining forces with several other organisations, the group is now a part of the Dirty Water Campaign, which aims to underline the ways in which extreme weather can affect our waterways and increase pollution levels.
Rosemary Robinson, aged 68, said: “It’s an ongoing campaign highlighting the perilous state of our rivers and seas in the hope we can apply enough pressure on the government to put pressure on the water authorities to actually do something.
“The water authorities have given billions of pounds to their shareholders, many of whom don’t even live in this country, and yet are neglecting their legal duties to ensure we don’t get raw sewage in our waterways.”
She said current regulations permit water authorities to discharge stormwater into rivers during exceptional circumstances.
“With climate change, we’re going to get more of these,” she warned. “We’re going to get loads and loads of big deluges and floods and they are just going to tip more sewage into our waterways.”
Eddie Francis, another member of the group, described the situation as a “national scandal” and warned public health is in severe jeopardy.
He said: “It’s totally wrong that foreign shareholders are benefiting from us getting sick. We’re trying to encourage people to complain to their local water authority and say, ‘you’ve got to do something about this’.”
Ms Robinson later underscored the need for MPs to play a role in advocating for cleaner water, urging people to raise their concerns to their elected representatives, who can then exert pressure on the regulatory body, Ofwat.
She said: “It’s just one more thing adding to the climate crisis. We need all hands on deck but of course, time is running out.”
Mr Francis said: “We need people to wake up as quickly as possible and realise that things are going badly for us and that our government is selling us down the river.”