A new live map launched by Thames Water to show recent storm sewage discharges has shown that one took place at a Rickmansworth treatment plant that lasted for over 120 hours.
The discharge at the Maple Lodge Sewage Treatment Works began at 2am on January 12 and only ended at 3.15am on January 17, a total of 121 hours and 15 minutes.
The sewage was released into the River Colne, which makes its way up through Batchworth and next to the town centre. The stream also has connections to the Rickmansworth Aquadrome and the River Chess.
The new live map was only launched on January 3, and since then several other discharges from the Maple Lodge plant have also been shown, though the one detailed above has lasted the longest.
A spokesperson for Thames Water said: “The site will have discharged because the flows received exceeded the capacity of works. In these circumstances, the infrastructure is designed to discharge in this way, to prevent sewage backing up and flooding properties.
“We already have plans to upgrade the sewage treatment capacity of Maple Lodge sewage works to help prevent this from happening.
“We are the first company to provide these alerts for inland waters and this ‘near real-time’ data is available to customers as a map on our website.
“Our shareholders have recently approved a business plan that sees us spending an additional £2billion beyond what our customers are funding so we can improve outcomes for customers, leakage and river health.”
Photo Credit: Mark Percy