Rotary Talk – What are they doing to our poor Thames?!

The River Thames is certainly cleaner than it was 50 years ago, but that is not the same as being clean or invulnerable to pollution.

For one thing, its flow contains some of the highest recorded levels of microplastics of any river in the world — including industrial giants like the Rhine. University of London scientists estimate that in places 94,000 microplastics move through the water per second.

And then there is the sewage. Millions of tonnes of untreated sewage is dumped by water companies each year along the Thames, some of it with government blessing, some of it not. On one occasion in 2020, more than 2 billion litres of raw sewage were dumped in the Thames in just two days.

The Rotary Club of Henley-on-Thames invites you to its next free webinar on Tuesday 15 March at 6.30pm, which will look at the present and future of our beautiful river.

The main speaker with be Councillor Jo Robb, South Oxfordshire District Council’s Thames champion. She will be joined by Ashley Smith from Windrush Against Sewage Pollution.

“We are seeing a dramatic increase in sewage dumping and, as the Environmental Audit Committee report found, this is polluting our rivers with a toxic cocktail of sewage and microplastic,” Robb says.

The webinar is at 6:30 pm on Tuesday March 15. Register at