By and large the general public is unaware that rivers are used to discharge not only treated effluent but also untreated effluent directly to rivers;
• It’s (almost) all quite legal , permitted under licence by the Environment Agency;
• The EA advise against swimming in rivers;
• Both the water industry and the EA have been content with these arrangements; and,
• Spills during heavy rainfall events usually go unnoticed, because outlet pipes are often hidden from view.