Shropshire Star

Paddlers and councillor calls for river clean up as high water activates sewage outlet

Members of Shrewsbury Canoe Club met with a councillor to discuss the impact on public health of river pollution as local waterways were in spate.

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Alex Wagner, right with members of Shrewsbury Canoe Club

The paddlers went to see the Rea Brook as the sewage outlet was in full flow.

They talked to Councillor Alex Wagner about the fears that paddle and other sports could be hit by the continued practise of allowing sewage outlets on rivers across the country.

Councillor Wagner said the public health impact of water companies dumping sewage into the river was brought up extensively during the conversations, with those participating in aquatic sports on the Severn most negatively impacted.

This includes rowers, canoers, and all those who use the Severn for sporting purposes.

After meeting at the White Horse on Wenlock Road, the group went down to the Rea Brook during the bad weather to see the storm overflow which, they say, was pumping sewage into the stream under Haycock Way at the Rea Brook Local Nature Reserve.

Chair of Shrewsbury Canoe Club Nick Morrow said: “Our town is born of the river, it’s vital to so many aspects of our community. It’s nice to see several active groups taking action against the sewage and farming run off. I really hope we can all move forward collectively for the betterment of our beautiful town.”

Councillor Wagner said: “We’ve got to hold the water companies to account and sort out our river or future generations won’t be able to take full advantage of the loop as thousands of Salopians have been doing for centuries. It is genuinely upsetting to think that our rich tradition of rowing, canoeing, and angling on the Severn may be brought to a halt if action is not taken soon.”

Severn Trent says that storm overflows are used in heavy rain to prevent flooding in customer homes and businesses.

It says its rivers are currently the healthiest they have been since the Industrial Revolution and Severn Trent has been consistently recognised as a leading UK water company awarded the highest 4 star status by the Environment Agency because of the care it take with the rivers and the environment.