How polluted is the River Ock?

2023 was the worst year on record for stormwater pollution. Stormwater pollution occurs when rain washes pollutants into waterways. These can include litter, chemicals, and raw sewage from overflowing drains. It’s especially bad when treatment plants have insufficient capacity to handle the rainwater.

The Ock area had 747 spillages in 2023, compared to 155 in 2022. Some of those spillages came down the River Ock from places like Wantage(78) and Uffington(86), then went into the River Thames. Others went directly into the River Thames. The Abingdon treatment works had 38 spillages in 2023 and 0 in 2022.

The rivers in the north of England were the worst offenders.

Thanks to Newcomer for pointing out a Guardian article: Englands sewage crisis – How polluted is your local river?. It has a tool for analysing the number of spillages in a year by area. The picture is taken from that tool (all rights reserved).

18 thoughts on “How polluted is the River Ock?

  1. Janet

    Sorry folks but Abingdon Sewage works is discharging now. See real time map. Certainly would not want to swim in the Thames.
    The building of thousands of new houses around Oxford has been put on hold as the Sewage treatment works in Oxford cannot cope with all the proposed new houses. One wonders how Abingdon Sewage Treatment is coping with all the new houses built on Peachcroft and the new development in North Abingdon.

    1. Daniel

      But what if the blue candidate here happens to be (or seem to be) a better offering than the current yellow one?

  2. newcomer

    These inepts want us to meet the payments for them to catch-up on their ignored running repairs and development plans, they want forgiveness for floodng our countryside with sewaged, and they want funds to keep the immoral slugs, who are their ‘investors’, in Evian bath water. And how? By increasing our water bills … it’s our obligation …

    Well all I can say to this is … if Thames Water get away with this I’d like them to gizza job, wif loadsa money, a well cushy number wif enough Medical Cover to have my conscience removed as the British Government would desere to be taken for fools. Note, ‘The British Government’, not ‘The British Public’ aka ‘us’ as none of ‘us’ ever get chance to touch the tiller.

    Yay Daniel, too right … they’re all nincompoops.

      1. Daniel

        Yeah, but what if the better one licallybis worse for us nationally?

        In the last local elections (that brought us the bad 20mph limits locally) we were told that it reflected the popularity of the government nationally.

        So….now, are we supposed to vote nationally even though it may bring us one of those “worse candidates” locally?

        I mean….frankly, I don’t know what I think anymore and am happy to find out from the press what I think.

        1. Iain

          Dont worry – there’s nothing much local to vote for this year (just the totally unnecessary job of P&C Commissioner). So only the national picture matters, as and when Mr Sunak picks up the courage to test all these policies he says the public are clamoring for, with the public ourselves.

          As far as I understand the 20mph thing (which personally I have no problem with but appreciate others feel differently) is the remit of the County Council so 2025 election is the place to express that view. I don’t think the MP has much involvement although they’re obviously in the same party.

          1. Daniel

            That’s not quite what I mean Iain…

            If you don’t want a Tory government…what happens if you happen to think the new Tory MP here is a better choice than the other person?

            Am i supposed to vote ‘nationally’ or what may be better for my community?

            My “dig” at the 20mph limits is that we were “told” by the meedya that that election was to be a gauge of how the public felt about the government. Yet local councillors said that the result showed an overwhelming endorsement for their local policies (such as silly speed limits). I can’t remember why I voted, but I know it could NOT have been on both of the above reason…

          2. Iain

            Fundamentally that’s the deficiency of our scheme of government Daniel. We vote for individuals who then select our government.

            If you like the candidate but not their party then you need to decide whether the national government or the individual are more important to you.

            I fully agree it’s a flawed system, so as another thought you could vote for whichever party you think might deliver a change to the voting system 😉

            Life is all about compromise and prioritisation I guess

  3. Daniel

    Please can I just check this…and do correct me if I am wrong. But is the sentiment of the TW business model is that… AFTER paying bonuses. AFTER dividends to share holders. And AFTER any profits… there’s simply no money left in the pot for repairs and upgrades etc? Is that roughly right?

    If so….I have a cunning ploy….

  4. newcomer

    Well, Daniel, that’s more or less the company’s recovery plan aka a failure tradjectory … why change something that’s worked so well for the Directors and Shareholders in the past?

    Now, perhaps, some might believe me when I said that the Reservior might well have been a scheme to build a huge asset on debt and borrow against it to pay for bonuses, dividends and company limos. After all, a Water Company is Too Big To Fail.

    These are the benefits of running a monopoly in a country where the Government can’t run anything.

  5. newcomer

    Only one thing pisses me off about this wonderful Blog that we have a lot to thank Alastair for is that how
    responses can be slotted into the thread earlier in the arguemnt rather that a continuation of the thread … this is not obvioiusly obvious is it, Iain?

  6. newcomer

    Only one thing pisses me off about this wonderful Blog that we have a lot to thank Alastair for is that how
    responses can be slotted into the thread earlier in the arguemnt rather that a continuation of the thread … this is not obvioiusly obvious is it, Iain? Though it is ‘disrupting the dialogue’.


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