A BASINGSTOKE councillor has called out a water company for pumping untreated sewage into a river.

Paul Harvey, who is the leader of the Independent Forum in Basingstoke, said he is 'really angry' at Thames Water's actions at the River Loddon.

“I'm absolutely livid,” he said. “Earlier this year, I called out the water companies on the grounds of the damage they were doing to our rivers. They are continuing to destroy River Loddon too badly. The world-renowned chalk stream river is being destroyed because Thames Water can't afford to invest in their infrastructure.

“They've absolutely failed us. I'm calling them out as the leader of the Independent Forum.”

READ MORE: Water company responds after raw sewage pumped into river for 60 hours

As previously reported, residents near to the Basingstoke sewage treatment works (STW), in Whitmarsh Lane, Chineham, noticed that Thames Water had been pumping raw sewage into the River Loddon on Friday, March 29.

At that point, the sewage had been pumping into the river for almost 60 hours. It is unconfirmed whether the sewage is still being pumped into the river.

When the Gazette contacted Thames Water, it did not deny pumping untreated sewage water into the river.

Meanwhile, Cllr Harvey also criticised the Government for allowing water companies to destroy rivers.

“The Government is not stopping them from dumping raw sewage into our rivers. We want the Government to give powers to local councils to intervene. It's our waterways that are being destroyed by these companies.

“They're making profits, giving shareholders their dividends,  while not investing and our bills are going up. So they're expecting the public to pay for their failings over the years. Meanwhile, they are willfully destroying our environment.”

A Thames Water spokesperson previously said: “Taking action to improve the health of rivers is a key focus for us and we want to lead the way with our transparent approach to data.

"We’re the first company to provide live alerts for all untreated discharges throughout our region and this ‘near real-time’ data is available to customers as a map on our website and is also available through an open data platform for third parties, such as swimming and environmental groups, to use.

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“Of course, what matters most is stopping the need for the discharges and we have published plans to upgrade over 250 of our sewage treatment works and sewers.

"An upgrade is planned for Basingstoke STW. This will improve its ability to treat the volumes of incoming sewage, reducing the need for untreated discharges in wet weather.

"The scheme, which is still being designed, is due to be completed in 2027. We're also investigating the impact of groundwater on the sewer network in this area. This will help inform our long-term planning.”