Linacre College Women's Eights Team Names Boat 'River Action' to Honor Campaign Group's Efforts Against Thames Water Pollution

Linacre College rowers name boat 'River Action' to honor campaign group exposing Thames Water's sewage pollution. Highlights growing activism around UK river health and need to hold polluters accountable.

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Linacre College Women's Eights Team Names Boat 'River Action' to Honor Campaign Group's Efforts Against Thames Water Pollution

Linacre College Women's Eights Team Names Boat 'River Action' to Honor Campaign Group's Efforts Against Thames Water Pollution

The women's eights first team from Linacre College, University of Oxford, has named their boat 'River Action' to honor the campaign group River Action for its efforts in exposing Thames Water's alleged role in polluting the River Thames with sewage discharges. River Action's water quality experts, together with Fulham Reach Boat Club, conducted tests on a stretch of the river and found E.coli levels up to 10 times higher than what the Environment Agency considers acceptable for designated bathing waters.

The campaign group said the testing locations indicated the source of pollution was from Thames Water discharging sewage directly into the River Thames. "The team said this was a tribute to River Action for 'drawing attention to water pollution on the River Thames, believed to be caused by Thames Water,'" according to the Linacre Boat Club president Sydney Rose. River Action CEO James Wallace said the boat naming was "humbling" as they stand up for river health and hold polluters accountable.

Thames Water recognized that all discharges are unacceptable and that improving river health is a key focus for the company. The utility stated it has published plans to upgrade over 250 of its sites to improve performance and reduce the number of overflows during heavy rainfall. "Thames Water acknowledged that improving the health of the river is a key focus for the company and that it has plans to modernize more than 250 of its sites to improve performance and reduce the incidence of flooding during heavy rainfall," the company said in a statement.

Why this matters: The naming of the Linacre College boat highlights the growing concern and activism around the health of Britain's rivers and the role of water companies in addressing pollution. It emphasizes the importance of holding polluters accountable and the need for urgent action to improve water quality and protect aquatic ecosystems.

The principal of Linacre College and the boat club president expressed their support for River Action's mission to preserve the health of the River Thames, which is an integral part of the university's identity and daily life. The women's eight team said they were proud to support River Action's vision through the symbolic boat naming. Thames Water reiterated that improving river health is a priority and outlined its plans to modernize infrastructure to reduce sewage overflows, but also noted that watercourses have other potential hazards beyond water company discharges.

Key Takeaways

  • Linacre College boat named 'River Action' to honor campaign group's work on Thames pollution
  • River Action's tests found E.coli levels up to 10x higher than acceptable in Thames
  • Thames Water acknowledges discharges are unacceptable, plans to upgrade 250+ sites
  • Boat naming highlights growing concern over river health and holding polluters accountable
  • Linacre College supports River Action's mission to preserve the River Thames