London Waterkeeper is a member of Waterkeeper Alliance, a global federation campaigning for fishable, drinkable and swimmable water.
London Waterkeeper defends rivers and challenges polluters. All of London’s rivers are failing – damaged by road run-off and sewage. London Waterkeeper seeks to use the law to target polluters, highlight pollution where it happens and outline the solutions needed to make rivers healthy.
The 15th anniversary video featuring London Waterkeeper is here.
The Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) has worked with London Waterkeeper (LW) since it was first approached for assistance in 2016. LW recently launched a campaign to persuade Thames Water to notify the public when its sewers spill into the Thames – from the Cotswolds to London. Thames Water is subject to the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004 which require such bodies to make environmental information they hold available to the public by electronic means.
Currently very little information about Thames’ pollution is publicly available. The river is used by people for rowing, kayaking, paddle boarding and swimming but they don’t know when they risk coming into contact with sewage. Information about any form of pollution from the Cotswolds to the capital should be sent to A Thames Fit To Swim.
London Waterkeeper has asked Thames Water to tell them when its sewers overflow but they also need public input via this link to help to make the Thames swimmable one day.
Hogsmill Sewage Works (Kingston-on-Thames) – an incident due to misconnection
London Waterkeeper’s aims:
- to acquire information in order to see where greater investment is needed to protect the river,
- to encourage Thames Water to put information about all pollution incidents on its website ‘as is expected in the 21st Century’.
Information helped Copenhagen to make its waters ‘swimmable’. Read an inspiring account here. They created urban beaches and harbour swimming pools which are now the most popular open spaces. Read another account in the Ecologist.