With the end of summer approaching, it is time to savour the last of the warmth and enjoy soaking up the sun. For many, their favourite way to spend a hot day is taking a dip in one of a number of diverse water bodies.
From the lochs of Scotland to the southern English coast, we love exploring what the UK has to offer, but it appears that the joy of ‘wild swimming’ is one that is at risk across many much-loved bathing spots.
𝗦𝗼 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁’𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗯𝗹𝗲𝗺?
With water quality issues making headline news throughout the year, there have been countless cases of water pollutant releases resulting in unsafe water quality and environmental damage.
From (1) stories of hundreds of illegal sewage discharges to (2) recent news that the government are weakening legacy EU water pollution restrictions for housing developments, we have been bombarded with stories of questionable water management strategies.
Sewage release into our waterways is a public health risk but also introduces unnatural levels of organic matter. This can deplete oxygen levels, effectively ‘suffocating’ aquatic life and causing huge damage to local ecosystems.
As well as sewage, other key pollutant sources include those from chemical production, agricultural surface runoff and oil spills. Companies are required to manage water quality under regulations mandated in various standards and policies, but many aren’t keeping their activities within legal boundaries.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗱𝗼𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗮 𝘀𝗮𝘆?
Through analysing the data for 47 UK companies for which non-compliance with water standards is deemed to be relevant, there have been a total of 357 incidents disclosed in the most recent reporting year, with one company disclosing a staggering 159 incidents.
This does not even cover the more than half of the 47 companies which haven’t disclosed comparable figures so are not included in the total. On a more positive note, almost 90% of these companies have policies to manage this issue so hopefully change is on its way.
You can request this list of companies by emailing our team – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Such high numbers of non-compliance incidents are alarming, and it’s shocking that more isn’t being done to prevent them and safeguard our precious water bodies, as well as the well-being of those who use them.
Written by Integrum ESG Analyst Alicia Kaplan.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-66670132 – ‘Water firms illegally spilled sewage on dry days – data suggests
https://news.sky.com/story/government-re-writing-rules-on-waterway-pollution-in-bid-to-boost-home-building-12950005 – Government relaxes rules on waterway pollution in bid to boost home building