SEWAGE has once again been 'released' from a treatment works.

This morning, a Tweet from an alert system that sewage had been released from Witney Sewage Treatment at around 10.30am.

The alerts, which are tweeted via @oxthamessewage, cover six sites and are posted by water company Thames Water, Oxford City Council and charities Thames 21 and The Rivers Trust.

The next update to say whether sewage is still entering the waterways will be released at 6am tomorrow.

Treatment works are only allowed to put sewage into waterways after wet weather and when they are close to capacity.

Over the Christmas period sewage was also released from Witney Sewage Treatment, resulting in a Boxing Day swim in Wolvercote being cancelled.

A Thames Water spokesperson said: “We are very sorry to those people who have been unable to swim following sewage discharges, which have been due to our treatment works being at full capacity following heavy rainfall over the Christmas period and more recently. 

"These weather events can result in more groundwater entering our sewer network in the area and while unacceptable to us, discharges are sometimes necessary and permitted to prevent flooding to homes, gardens, streets and open spaces."

Thames Water are currently increasing sewage treatment capacity in the area including in Oxford, Witney, Fairford and Ampney St Peter.

It also hopes to continue its industry-leaidng trial of providing real-time alerts of sewage discharges around Oxford in 2022.
Between 2020 and 2025 the company intends to spend £1.25 billion on maintaing and improving operational sites across the Thames Valley and London.

The spokesperson added: “Our aim will always be to try and do the right thing for rivers and for the communities who love and value them. We’ll also work with the government, Ofwat and the Environment Agency to accelerate work to stop discharges of untreated sewage being necessary.

“We have a long way to go – and we certainly can’t do it on our own – but the ambition is clear.”