The Health Protection Agency is calling for better monitoring of Thames water quality, particularly in areas where the river is used for watersports and fishing, following the publication of its Thames Recreational Users Study today.
The report focuses on "potential risks to public health posed by faecal pollution of human or animal origin" in the river. That's poo to you and me.
Although the Thames is known as one of the cleanest rivers in Europe, untreated sewage can still get washed into it, particularly when there's heavy rainfall. The City Corporation who commissioned the research are calling for a pollution early warning system to warn people when the water is particularly buggy. Imagine discreet steaming turd beacons along the riverbank between Kew, Barnes and Putney.
To tide you over though, some practical advice from the researchers behind the report. Recreational users of the River Thames,
should... ensure they wash their hands thoroughly after using the river, particularly before eating or drinking, and try not to swallow any water if they should fall in
Bet you'd never have thought of that for yourselves. Happy splishing.
Image courtsey of lokulin's Flickrstream