Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink! In fact not a drop to swim in or use for cooking or watering crops. Fresh water contaminated with a deadly cocktail of everything from pesticides to plastic from forever chemicals to nitrates and, of course, not forgetting human and animal sewage to god knows what. Unfit for human consumption and an unfit habitat for biodiversity.

Rivers? Can we still call them that rather than be done with it and just call them sewers? The word river for most people including me conjures up the cardio vascular system of the natural world carrying fresh clean water and acting as the lifeblood to all biodiversity. The treatment of our rivers is criminal, it’s shameful and it’s downright heartbreaking. When it comes to Rivers it seems they are being treated with the same ignorance and contempt as the rest of Mother Earth and have just become extended sewage outflows for human civilisation.

Rivers in the UK continue to deteriorate and continue to transport their liquid effluent to the seas that surround us. Then you know what happens next. That’s right, Surfers in Sewers and those Surfers they just hate that. They didn’t seem to mind swimming with plastic though to get the message across.

Like most environmental problems the solutions are complex but not as impossible as some would have you believe. The word that terrifies most people, of course, when it comes to solving a problem which is a consequence of a blind rush for profit is the word EXPENSIVE! How much is this going to cost us?

I think the addition of just one word to that sentence puts it into a much better perspective. How much is this going to cost us all?

The first version suggests some corporation or council worried about that bottom line and what financial obligation they may have in clearing up the mess. The second version is a reminder of the consequences of our collective failure to act and address these issues before they became so serious that combined they now affect our very short term existence.

Private, profit or public right

The Government would have you believe that the management and control of our drinking water and waste water is safely in the hands of big business. Gulp!

That’s right it was seen as a great way back in the late eighties to ensure the quality and long term robustness of such a vital component of human health.

Well after over 30 years those same big businesses have become sinking ships with massive debt and no way to attract the billions needed to bring the standards anywhere near acceptable to regulators let alone the rivers’ few remaining inhabitants.


Ofwat (The Water Services Regulation Authority in England and Wales), not sure how they came up with that name. Maybe it was the organisers of the Henley regatta. “Gosh old chap, the River smells a bit off what?”


According to multiple press releases by the Environment Agency they are doing everything within their power to regulate the water industry and protect the environment. However, the continuing cutbacks to budgets have diminished that power so considerably that it has transformed the Environment Agency whose name once sent shivers down the spines of polluters into a toothless deterrent and instead now evokes a chuckle followed by “The what❓”. A regulatory institution, which is about as far removed from the ‘polluter pays’ principle as it could possibly be, and what is most concerning is that this appears to be by design.

Citizen Scientists to the rescue again

How seriously should anyone be concerned about the health of the rivers? I am going to stop saying our rivers because they are not ours. We still share this once beautiful blue green rock with millions of other species and they all need water 💦. How would you feel if the water coming out of your taps was the same water flowing into our oceans?

Citizen Scientists are people taking it seriously enough to voluntarily take action for Rivers by joining forces with organisations to monitor the waters and gather evidence and data. Hopefully, by now you know that sharing their stories is what BFB is all about. Some of these organisations are mentioned below and we will continue to keep you updated with their stories and more in the coming months.


I for one would love to see Rivers thriving once again and to be able to swim safely while making a real connection to the Earth. I would love to play Pooh sticks from bridges instead of spotting Poo bits from bridges.

The world’s dekcuf up but who’s to blame? The people doing the destruction or those allowing them to get away with it? The “all it takes for evil to prevail is if good people do nothing” concept. I’m not sure who said it but well done mate it’s brilliant and sums it right up.

What will tomorrow bring?

More to follow 🌎🌍🌎🌍🌎🌍🌎

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