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A drive to make the tidal
Thames cleaner for
current and future
generations is already
helping river users
change how they deal
with sewage waste.

Byelaw 49, created by
Port of London
Authority to stop waste water being dumped in the Thames, came into force at the beginning of the year. Designed to stop certain vessel owners, including those in houseboats, from discharging sewage, it's hoped the measure will help to protect the river’s environment – making it cleaner and healthier for many years to come.

The PLA’s environment team have

been working hard to ensure river users know why the byelaw was brought in and what it entails. Using various channels, including public meetings, open days, the PLA website and even an audit to check how many people would be affected, staff have been carefully

explaining to affected people the options they have to comply with the byelaw.

Environment manager Tanya Ferry said: “Our new byelaw is already having a transformative and positive effect on what river users do with their sewage.”

Essex Yacht Club in Leigh-on-Sea, whose historic floating clubhouse, Wilton, had been discharging sewage since it became the club's HQ 11 years ago, has revolutionised how it deals with sewage. The refurbished former mine hunter, which was the first-ever Glass Reinforced Plastic warship, has been the venue for countless social events, meetings and fund-raisers since 2004. But its sewage system had to be overhauled if it was to remain the club's focal point.

Following advice, consultation and encouragement from the PLA, as well as weeks of work by contractors and club members, the club last month revealed that a project to take Wilton’s waste water to the main sewerage system had been a success. A 550 metre pipe now shifts the gunk, meaning less pollution in the Thames.

The project cost around £100,000

and was financed, in part, by Sport England.

Club rear commodore Patrick Grant, thanked the PLA for its support,
advice and understanding.

He said: “It’s finally finished and it meets the requirements of the new byelaw. We’re so pleased with what was a very difficult project to complete. It’s something we’ve been keen to do for a long time and club members are so glad it’s been completed. The good news is that it works.”

In November, yacht club commodore Alec Pell-Johnson said: “We’ve been planning to carry out this work for years as we are anxious to be as environmentally friendly as possible
and have been liaising closely with
all the relevant agencies, including Network Rail, the Council, the Environment Agency and Natural England.”

 

 
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