Stop the Sewage

Campaign for Windermere: A Vision for a Cleaner Tomorrow

At the heart of our community lies Windermere, it’s serene beauty has long been a source of local pride and a draw for visitors from around the globe. Yet, this treasured landscape is facing an ecological crisis that we can no longer afford to overlook. The stark reality is that in 2022, our lake was subjected to 246 days of sewage pollution due to storm overflows. This is not just a blemish on our environmental record; it’s a clear signal that immediate action is required.

Our campaign’s mission is to forge a path to a cleaner, healthier Windermere. We are advocating for practical solutions that address the core issues head-on. It is essential to recognize that the repercussions of pollution are far-reaching, adversely affecting not just the lake’s aesthetic appeal but also its aquatic life. The dramatic decline in sea trout numbers in the River Leven by 99% since 1980, along with the critical threat to the native char population, reflects a biodiversity emergency that demands our urgent attention.

To tackle these pressing concerns, our plan includes the introduction of a minor surcharge for tourists staying overnight. This targeted community investment fund will be dedicated to expediting the necessary overhaul of our water treatment infrastructure. If this initiative results in us fronting the bill for improvements that United Utilities is obligated to make, rest assured that we will seek full financial reimbursement. Our lake’s health should not come at the cost of our community’s resources.

Turning our attention to the issue of rainwater and grey water infiltration into our sewage system, it is clear that a distinct and equally important challenge lies before us. Runoff from gutters and household grey water, laden with chemicals, disrupts the functionality of septic tanks and the broader sewage treatment process. Addressing this problem requires a separate, dedicated effort to ensure the longevity of our lake’s natural processes and the preservation of its delicate ecosystem.

Transparency and rigorous accountability will be the pillars of our campaign. The agencies and entities tasked with the protection of Windermere must be held to a higher standard of environmental stewardship. Past practices shrouded in secrecy have led to the current state of affairs, and we will accept nothing less than complete openness and effective action moving forward.

Windermere’s condition is not an isolated concern but rather a reflection of a broader national issue. However, given the lake’s prominence as one of the UK’s most visited tourist destinations, the implications of inaction are magnified. The safety of the lake for swimming, the well-being of the wildlife that depend on its purity, and the health of our community are all at stake. Moreover, the increased instances of algal blooms and related health risks underscore the need for a swift and decisive response.

This campaign is a rallying cry for all who hold Windermere dear. For too long, the signs of environmental distress have been ignored, and promises of improvement have fallen by the wayside. We now have an opportunity to rectify past oversights and to lay the groundwork for a future where Windermere is not only a picturesque backdrop but also a testament to our dedication to environmental excellence.

Taking action on this issue
  • Hold United Utilities responsible and the other agencies who have allowed the pollution to carry on for best part of four decades.
  • If we are successful with our tourist tip/levy then funds will be directed into the immediate solution. This may include finacial help to rapidly build the infrastructure that we desperately need.
  • We need to hold Ofwat accountable due to their mismanagement. 
  • We must stop storm water and grey water from mixing with sewage waste. 
  • Tax on the water companies £2.2 billion annual profits to improve our sewage system and protect our rivers and lakes.