3 Out of 4 British Rivers Fail Europe's Pollution Test

September 22, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

As John Vidal reports in this morning’s The Guardian, English and Welsh rivers have a long way to go before they meet new European quality standards — standards that could mean mounting fines for Britain if they don’t turn things around before 2015. “The chemical and biological state of UK rivers, wetlands, lakes, estuaries and coastal waters has improved considerably in the last decade, but the results are highly embarrassing because the government is legally required by Europe to ensure that 95% of all British rivers are in ‘good’ ecological condition by 2015.”
“A total of 117, some 2 per cent of all rivers, were found to be the dirtiest and most inhospitable to marine, plant and invertebrate life. Among them is the Stour estuary in Kent, part of a nature reserve run by the RSPB. But even famous chalkstream rivers such as the Test, a favourite stretch for anglers, is in trouble.” Valerie Elliott in the London Times.