1 in 5 Oxfordshire towns and parishes face flooding and pollution issues

Flooding at Crawley

4th November 2021

CPRE Oxfordshire has published a report identifying issues of flooding and water quality across the County. 

Findings show that at least 17% of towns & parishes in Oxfordshire experience flooding problems and at least 20% of towns & parishes experience issues with sewage/sewerage infrastructure.

CPRE Oxfordshire sent a survey to the 235 Parish Councils, 15 Town Councils and 68 Parish Meetings in Oxfordshire. Of the Parish Councils and Meetings 105 are being served by Sewage Treatment Works with a record of spilling. In 2020, 87 of these spills were active for over 100 hours; 57 for over 500 hours; 36 for over 1,000 hours (Windrush Against Sewage Pollution).

A sewage treatment plant processes around 130,500 litres of sewage every day (Thames Water). Just one hour could see over 5,000 litres of sewage spilled.

Richard Harding, CPRE Oxfordshire Chairman, said:
CPRE Oxfordshire has long been concerned about the water-related impacts of new development, as well as the all-too-common practice of discharging untreated sewage into our rivers. The findings of our survey show that urgent action is required from Thames Water and policy-makers to protect both residents, the environment and our rivers.”

CPRE Oxfordshire wants to see:

  • Thames Water setting out clear measures to address the issues raised in this report, including targets and investment commitments.
  • Local MPs supporting the Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill and the Environment Bill to ensure water companies are legally bound to stop discharging raw sewage into the ocean and rivers.
  • Oxfordshire Plan 2050 to ensure all new developments demonstrate that their associated infrastructure will either maintain or improve water quality, not add to the risk of flooding, and be in place before the site is occupied.
  • The river Thames to achieve Bathing Water designation.

CPRE Oxfordshire has produced an interactive map highlighting where the issues are, view the map here.

Did your Town or Parish Council respond? If not, you can let us know what flooding and/or sewage issues your neighbourhood is facing. Contact campaign@cpreoxon.org.uk 

Download a copy of CPRE Oxfordshire’s Flooding and Pollution report – a survey of Oxfordshire’s Town & Parish Councils, 2021 below.