Thursday, 21 November 2013

Representations to the Planning inspectorate

Date: 21 November 2013, 22:02

To whom it may concern

I have received a message from 'Save your Riverside' a couple of days ago urging those interested in the discussion about the river Thames super-sewer to attend
tomorrow to the Open Floor Hearing at the Glaziers Hall.
Unfortunately, I am working and cannot escape my duties, and therefore will not be able to attend. However, and although I am now aware that the deadline for submitting representations to the planning inspectorate has elapsed, I still wish to send you my humble opinion to this whole issue.
I have been personally campaigning against the idea of the super sewer. To that end, I started a blog ( back in July 2011 just as a way to make my ideas public.

Below, I will try to summarize the reasons why I oppose such project, as well as some ideas about it that I have expressed in the blog:

- The ultimate cause of the problem of the discharges of raw sewage in the river Thames is not an out of date sewage system in London, but the actual discharge of our own human excrement through our sewers. You stop this and you not only get rid of the problem, but also you open the possibility of recycling our waste into valuable material (i.e. agricultural fertilizer).

- The super sewer is not a sustainable solution to our current problems. It will not only continue to allow the use of drinking water to flush our waste, but also will use a considerable amount of energy to treat the sewage produced. It will only benefit the company that supports the project, that is Thames Water, but not the majority of Londoners or taxpayers.

- Apparently the super tunnel will not solve the issue of the sewage discharges 100%, but very heavy or prolonged rainfalls will provoke them despite the tunnel.

- Suggested solution: to upgrade all the water closets across the capital (and eventually across the UK), and/ or to replace them with any of the many current designs that collect the waste in a safe manner for its composting and further recycling. This could be achieved over a period of time by means of, i.e. economic incentives to change the loo in a voluntary basis, something like the scheme for improving the house insulation or to install solar panels in your roofs. This would be followed by legislation banning the construction of current WC in any new building and only permitting those that would allow the recycling of our waste. Finally, I would force little by little the phasing out of all the old fashion WC in the capital, replacing them with sustainable ones. This could be done, for example, by taxing old systems out of existence. A change at a similar scale was achieved by the Clean Air Act of 1956, which banned the use of coals in households throughout London and other large cities in the country, and forced the introduction of other 'cleaner' system to heat up our homes. I think we could now do the same but with our sanitary system.

For more information, please have a look at the various entries and links in the blog.

Yours faithfully