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Reducing sewage pollution must be UK ‘public health priority’, says senior official

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

Illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Financial Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Reducing sewage pollution in UK waters must be a "public health priority," said England's chief medical officer, Sir Chris Whitt
• He emphasized the importance of minimizing human fecal organisms in fresh water, backing a report by the Royal Academy of Engineering
• Recent events, such as the boiling water advisory in Devon and raw sewage discharges into Windermere, highlight the urgency

🔭 The context: The Royal Academy of Engineering's report calls for better monitoring of water bodies and improved public health warning
• Water companies are urged to build storage tanks, separate sewers, and sustainable drainage systems to mitigate overflow
• Proactive maintenance and advanced treatment technologies like UV disinfection are also recommended

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Addressing sewage pollution is crucial for protecting both public health and the environment
• Reducing contamination in water bodies can prevent disease outbreaks and preserve ecosystems
Clean water is essential for sustainable living and biodiversity

⏭️ What's next: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is expected to enhance water quality monitoring and public health notifications
• Water companies will need to invest in infrastructure improvements and innovative technologies 
• Public incentives may be introduced to reduce impervious surfaces in urban areas

💬 One quote:  “The human health aspect is one of the things that needs to be taken seriously when we’re measuring the quality of water" - Sir Chris Whitty

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