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UK sewage disposal scandal results in fish ‘filled with cocaine’

The discharge of raw sewage into British waterways has resulted in fish being “full of cocaine”, a marine expert has said.

Professor Alex Ford, a marine biologist at the University of Portsmouth, told Good Morning Britain that the waters he analyzed off the Hampshire coast contained drugs, contraceptive pills and antidepressants.

New figures have fueled public anger that untreated sewage is being dumped into the sea and rivers despite Victorian-era infrastructure being unable to withstand heavy rainfall.

According to the Environment Agency, the number of wastewater spills in England’s rivers and seas has more than doubled in a year: there were 3.6 million hours of contamination in 2023, compared to 1.75 million in 2022.

Ford told the broadcaster from Langstone Harbour, Hampshire: “The sewage treatment plant behind us takes the waste of half a million people and when it can’t handle it anymore it throws it straight here.”

“In the marine life right under our feet, we actually find that they are full of drugs. They’re full of birth control pills, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications. Every single marine species we have studied so far is full of cocaine.”

GMB presenter Susanna Reid couldn’t quite believe what she was hearing and asked the reporter to clarify: “Every sea creature is full of cocaine, did he say?”

Water utilities are allowed to discharge untreated wastewater into waterways in exceptional circumstances, such as during this week’s heavy rains.

The overflow systems are used to protect homes and businesses from flooding, and water utilities say only a small percentage of the drains are wastewater.

Water UK, the industry body for wastewater companies, blamed heavy rainfall for the growing problem, but campaigners and opposition parties accused the Tory government of failing to get the problem under control.

On social media, the reaction was as expected…

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