Rivers in desperate state report Rivers Trust

Published: Wednesday, 28 February 2024

THE rivers of Britain are in a desperate state from the impact of pollution reports Rivers Trust.

There is not a single waterway in England listed as being in good overall health, Keith Gudgin reports.

Worse than ever

The Rivers Trust annual State of Our Rivers report reveals that the impact of pollution from treated and untreated sewage and agricultural and industrial run-off means rivers are in a worse condition than ever.

More than half of rivers in England failed to pass chemical and ecological tests because of pollution from water industry releases of treated and untreated sewage, based on data from the EU-derived water framework directive (WFD) in 2022.

Agricultural pollution contributes to 62% of waterways in England failing to meet good standards for chemical and biological pollution. Urban run-off from transport contributes to 26% of rivers not achieving good overall status.

Not in good overall health

The report shows none of England’s rivers are in good chemical health, which means the concentrations of toxic chemicals are higher than the safe limit in every river. Failing to pass chemical tests means no river in England is considered to be in good overall health.