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A guide to spotting and reporting pollution. Maps showing the sewerage network layout in Tamerton Foliot

The stream through Tamerton Foliot is subject to pollution now and again. This is usually from Combined Sewer Overflows.

England has a combined sewerage system meaning that clean rainwater and waste water from toilets, bathrooms and kitchens are conveyed in the same pipe to a sewage treatment works.

During heavy rainfall the capacity of these pipes can be exceeded, which means possible inundation of sewage works and the potential to back up and flood peoples’ homes, roads and open spaces, unless it is allowed to spill into the streams around Tamerton Foliot. Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) were developed as overflow valves to reduce the risk of sewage backing up during heavy rainfall.

Overflows of diluted sewage during heavy rainfall are not a sign that the system is faulty. Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) are a necessary part of the existing sewerage system, preventing sewage from flooding homes and businesses.

There are CSOs that feed into the water course feeding down to Tamerton Foliot. If they work properly there is not problem. But if the valve is blocked then undiluted sewage flows into the stream polluting it, and killing the wildlife.

What to do if you see pollution

What to do if you see the stream is polluted, or you see a manhole overflowing with Sewage (which will usually end up in the stream):

  1. Take photographs, note the time – immediately telephone the Environment Agency Pollution 24/7 hotline : 0800 807060
  2. Telephone South West Water 24 Hour Emergency helpline : 0344 346 2020
  3. If you have time and it is safe to do so, follow the stream up until you can identify the entry point of the pollution
The Environment Agency is responsible for regulating waste (including sewage)
South West Water provide our waste water services

Sewerage Maps around Tamerton Foliot

Red is combined sewer

Blue is surface water

Purple is foul only