THAMES Water has won the Tidy Britain Premier Award for Companies, in recognition of its support for Thames 21, a scheme to reduce litter and debris in the Thames system. Dr Peter Spillett was presented with the award by Princess Alexandra in London. He said: “We have invested £950 milllion in STWs to make the Thames the cleanest metropolitan river in the world – but its appearance is also very important.”

WESSEX Water is the UK’s ‘most admired’ water company, according to a survey by Nottingham Business School. Factors included management quality, investment value and environmental responsibility. Wessex will now join companies from 25 other industry sectors for the UK finals.

SEWAGE released into Shonks Brook in Essex has cost Thames Water £6,000 in fines and £700 in costs. The Environment Agency, prosecuting, said 0.5km of the river was covered in sewage and sewage fungus. Sewer overflow was caused by a failure to switch power back on at the Wynters Brook Pumping Station after routine inspections.

ANGLIAN Water has been fined £5,000 for allowing toxic blue-green algae to enter Louth canal from Covenham WTW in Lincolnshire. Algae spilled into the canal when a reservoir was overfilled.

ALUMINIUM has again been blamed for causing Alzheimer’s disease. Jean-Francois Dartigues of Inserm in Bordeaux, who studied 3,777 people over a 10 year period, says the disease is more likely to develop if levels in supply exceed 100 microgrammes/l.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has criticised a list of vulnerable sites submitted by the British government to the European Union. The WWF says the list, which is intended to protect the rarest British plants and animals, is too short – and that it may in fact endanger British wildlife resources.

The list identifies 315 potential Special Areas of Conservation, covering 2.8 per cent of the UK. The

WWF believes 2.8 per cent is inadequate, and compares the UK to countries such as Greece, Spain and Sweden which designate as much as 15 per cent of their territory for wildlife protection. “We decided to test the government’s approach on a sample of species and habitats” explained Carol Hatton, WWF Planning Officer, “and our results suggest that the government needs to protect three times as many sites than it is proposing.”

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