HC Deb 07 November 1884 vol 293 cc1211-2

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether, in view of the fact that the stream in the Thames below Teddington Lock is already not sufficient to scour the bed of the river, and to carry away the sewage which is brought up with the tide, and that each successive year it has been reduced in volume, owing to the water taken by the Water Companies above the lock, he contemplates taking any steps to hinder these Companies from withdrawing more water from the stream than they do at present?


The five London Water Companies drawing water from the Thames are limited to taking a supply from the river not exceeding 20,000,000 gallons each per day. The five Companies which are entitled to take 100,000,000 gallons daily have been drawing at the rate of from 80,000,000 to 90,000,000 per day, which is rather more than one-half of the total supplied by these Companies to London. There appears to be no doubt that the volume of water in the river has not been so low for many years past as it has recently been. In the last month or six weeks the water flowing over Teddington Weir has been, on an average, about 300,000,000 gallons daily; while the average daily flow of water over the Weir in the month of July, during a period of 30 years, after deducting certain periods of special floods, was about 500,000,000 per day. The recent diminution in the volume is the result of the long period of drought, and is not to any appreciable extent occasioned by an increased draught by the Water Companies. In the four months ended October last, the quantity taken by these Companies was about 15,000,000 gallons per day over the corresponding period of last year, and 19,000,000 gallons per day in excess of that in the same months in 1882. The Companies are not exceeding their limits of draught, and the Board are not empowered to interfere. With regard to the evils which are occasioned by the sewage brought up by the tide, as the hon. Member is aware, the subject of the sewer outfalls of the Metropolis is now under the consideration of a Royal Commission, and it is to be hoped that the Commissioners will be able to suggest some remedy.