Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Forth Estuary, Thames Water, and the Sewage Spill

Having been brought up on the Firth of Forth I feel a bit distressed about the estuary being polluted with untreated sewage as a result of a pump failure in a treatment station operated by Thames Water.

My first reaction to the reports was that the Forth is a long way from the Thames, and if you want to operate local resources perhaps it is better to operate them by means of local authorities, rather than PFI booty capitalists, who have at heart the interests of their shareholders in the City of London rather than local people.

Mechanical breakdowns in machinery are not unforseeable, they are inevitable and predictable given proper inspections and maintenance, and if the back-up systems are not in place to deal effectively with these failures then it is because someone decided not to have these systems. It wasn't an accident, it was a conscious decision motivated by minimising cost and maximising profit.

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