Could water be recycled through the Thames?

This could supposedly help supply woes, as temperatures rise again

Big Zero Report 2023

Taking water from the River Thames near Richmond could see 75 million more litres become available each day.

That’s according to Thames Water, which is considering the idea – as water supplies look to be strained yet again in 2023, with even hotter weather forecast than what was experienced last summer.

The idea isn’t new and a similar plan was rejected in 2019, however, this time the company is looking to replace the water with recycled sewage effluent from the treatment works in Mogden.

Ensuring the quality of water isn’t compromised is key, as well as not harming biodiversity and local wildlife – local authorities have stressed.

Thames Water has said that recycling water using the Thames would be the cheapest way of protecting supply.

Explaining the process, Leonie Dubois from the firm said: “[We’ll take] freshly treated water from Mogden sewage works, we’ll treat it to a high standard and put it back into the river to make sure the flow stays constant.”

She continued: “We’re working very closely with the Environment Agency on what that impact might be and we’re confident that we are within the thresholds that’s safe for us to undertake this project.

“But we are at a really early stage and we have to do much more environmental assessment, and importantly we want to hear from customers.”

The plan is currently open to the public for consultation.

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