Merton Council demands action from Thames Water

Merton Council is putting pressure on Thames Water to stop the lake and the stream in Wandle Park becoming silted up with rubbish.

The council met with the water company in June 2007 and the two organisations agreed to work in partnership to combat the problem of litter seeping into the water. Thames Water promised to provide the design for a grille to intercept debris before it drifted into the water and polluted the river and the lake while Merton Council agreed to clear up any rubbish collected in the grille.

However, so far Thames Water has failed to provide the council with any design plans at all. Earlier this month – 14 months after the original meeting – the company claimed it was unable to put together a suitable design and added it had not been able to get funding for the project.

Thames Water told Merton Council: “For a grille to intercept rubbish from highway gullies entering the watercourse is the reverse of principles we apply to this element of outfall design.” The firm continued: “Attempts to gain funding for this work have been unsuccessful for the issues outlined above, together with the priority needing to be placed on delivery of our regularity commitments to both Ofwat and the EA (Environment Agency).”

The council’s cabinet member for the environment Councillor David Simpson said: “It is extremely disappointing that Thames Water has taken 14 months to come to a negative view.

“I will be pressing Thames Water to review this harsh decision. Merton residents and users of the Wandle Trail deserve better than this from Thames Water.’