Have you had a chance to listen to Destination Cranleigh’s Cranleigh Community Radio number 23? Have a listen here 

Cranleigh Society current Chair Trevor talks about where the streams are and how we need to keep them clean.  If you see them getting blocked up please let Cranleigh Parish Council know.  It’s time to get back to working on what worries us such as potential flooding and the various problems, including sewage coming up where it shouldn’t.  We will be contacting MP Angela Richardson for her help in this matter.

How clean are our rivers?

The newspaper – The Times – this week said that we are suffering from Rivers of Shame due to raw sewage finding its way into rivers –  here is a link to the article here

Who is responsible for allowing what into the rivers and streams? is the privately owned water companies and the farmers for example, and what about the public?

and who makes sure they are clean enough?  Well, the Government would say it has the Environment Agency to make sure our rivers are clean and safe for wildlife.  But can we leave it to them?

Environment Agency Government site says  “We were established in 1996 to protect and improve the environment. We have around 10,600 employees. Our head office is in Bristol and we have another office in London. We have offices across England, divided into 14 areas listed below. See a map of our areas. Within England we’re responsible for:

  • regulating major industry and waste
  • treatment of contaminated land
  • water quality and resources
  • fisheries
  • inland river, estuary and harbour navigations
  • conservation and ecology

We are also responsible for managing the risk of flooding from main rivers, reservoirs, estuaries and the sea. Lead local flood authorities (LLFAs) are responsible for managing the risk of flooding from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses and lead on community recovery.  More detail about who is responsible for managing flood risks.”

We at Cranleigh Society have, over the years, with the help of the Right Honorable Anne Milton, held Thames Water to account concerning the quality of water they emit into our tiny rivers in and around Cranleigh. The rivers are named Cranleigh Waters, Littlemead Brook, Wey & Arun Canal, Cobblers Brook, Thornhurst Brook, and others. There are several ponds too including on the Common, and Vachery pond.

Looking at a map of Cranleigh on Google it’s easy to see our rivers are a major part of Cranleigh and need to be cared for, for us, for wildlife and for the future.

The Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill

According to The Angling Trust “Our rivers are in crisis. In 2019 water companies released raw sewage into our rivers more than 200,000 times, equating to more than 1.5 million hours. In September this year data from the Environment Agency revealed that not a single river in England achieved good chemical status and only 14% were classed as being of good ecological status. Sewage discharges by water companies into our rivers, lakes and waterways are suffocating our precious fish biodiversity and further degrading our environment. You can be a part of the urgent change needed to hold water companies to account for their actions and put an end to this pollution. The Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill is going through Parliament right now and we need your help to write to your MP to support the Bill.” 

If you witness a pollution incident, it is important to report it. Making the regulator (for example the Environment Agency and Natural England) aware of an incident is an essential step to make sure the polluter is held to account for their actions.” 

Government web site – “Summary of the Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill 2019-21

A Bill to place a duty on water companies to ensure that untreated sewage is not discharged into rivers and other inland waters; and for connected purposes.”