Shropshire residents have been left uncertain over whether it is safe to drink water from their tap, after the extent of local river pollution was revealed.
According to BBC News, a significant amount of sewage passes through to the county’s waterways, thanks to old drainage systems.
The area continues to use combined sewage overflows (CSOs), which releases a mixture of rainwater and domestic waste into the local rivers following heavy rainfall.
Labour councillor Kate Halliday, representing Belle Vue in Shrewsbury, spoke at a local authority meeting after an Environmental Audit Committee report warned rivers in the UK were a danger to public health, as a result of the “chemical cocktail” of pollutants in them.
Radbrook councillor Julia Evans also noted the severity of the issue in Shropshire, saying: “It’s a huge problem, with an antiquated sewage system that was basically built in the Victorian times and hasn’t had much funding and investment since.”
She added it is important to hold water providers to account, stating “they need to invest more money into the sewage system”.
As a result, the council is intending to put pressure on water companies to address draining improvements by asking for timescales on when the work will be done.
According to the Environmental Audit Committee’s report, only 14 per cent of English rivers achieved good ecological status.
It also revealed there was not a single river in the country that had no chemical contamination at all.
This puts public health at risk, with the report noting bacteria from animal slurry and sewage can cause sickness.
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