HUMAN sewage sold as cheap fertiliser is packed with microplastics and will get into our waterways, according to a confidential Environment Agency report leaked to The Telegraph newspaper.
An increasing number of anglers fear that this surge in microplastics from human sewage will hit fish and all creatures in inland waters.
The majority of British wastewater is repurposed into 3.6 million tonnes of treated sludge, supplied by water companies. It’s used on farmlands every year, on 370 sites across the country.
The practice has boomed in the past 20 years, after the Government banned water companies from dumping human sewage at sea in 1998 because of the threat to marine life.
Hidden human sewage threat
Former barbel record holder Ray Walton said: “All this stuff eventually gets washed back into our rivers, streams, lakes, canals, water table and the environment.
“They monitor and restrict the sewage threat to marine life, but what about river life where they dump it more so, and it also ends up in the sea?
“Regulations allow a certain small percentage of treated sewage to contain plastic, as this can’t be removed, and yet it can get back into the food chain by being absorbed by crops.
“It also enters our rivers, where it can be consumed by our fish and other creatures.”
Environmental campaigner Ray continued: “Additionally, the plastic particles attract pathogens and other harmful substances, so they do become toxic.
“We are all worried about coronavirus, but one in two of us will now get cancer, so what is the bigger threat?
“Maybe if the full facts are known, something will get done about it, but I am very doubtful,” Ray concluded.
Meanwhile, in Buckinghamshire, the EA is running a one-year trial to test a method of stopping plastics, particularly microplastics, entering rivers.
The work involves fixing fine-mesh nets over a surface water outlet from a housing development.
This will be monitored and results sent to researchers at East Anglia University, who will assess how effective the nets are.
An EA spokesperson explained: “If successful, the scheme will be extended.”
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