HC Deb 05 June 1896 vol 41 cc507-8

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, whether he is aware that the waters of the River Lea are polluted by the introduction of insufficiently disinfected sewage matter from the districts of Tottenham, Walthamstow and Leyton, greatly to the detriment of the health of the inhabitants of South Hackney and other districts; and whether he can take any, and what, steps to prevent this infringement of the Rivers Pollution Acts?


As regards the pollution of the waters of the River Lea, I have been in communication with the district councils of the three districts referred to in the Question. In the case of Tottenham, I am informed that the whole of the sewage of the district is pumped direct from the outfall works into the sewers of the London County Council. I do not find that the Local Government Board, during the last two years, have received any complaint in this matter as regards the Leyton district. With respect to Walthamstow, proceedings were instituted by the Leyton District Council for the purpose of obtaining an injunction to prohibit the pollution of the river by sewage from that district. An injunction was granted and the district council have submitted proposals for additional works with a view to preventing a continuance of the pollution. The Local Government Board have no authority to institute proceedings under the Rivers Pollution Prevention Acts; proceedings under those Acts may be instituted by the County Council or the council of any district affected by the pollution. Moreover, any powers which the Lea Conservancy Board have as regards the pollution of the river have been reserved to them by the Rivers Pollution Prevention Act of 1876.