Like the Alkali Inspectorate, the Water Authorities make a good deal of noise about the importance of a sense of mutual confidence between themselves and industry. The fact remains, however, that the legal penalties are often derisory - while many companies continue to display a marked lack of urgency in meeting consent conditions for their effluent discharges.

The highest percentage of satisfactory discharges, by number, has been in the Thames Water Authority (85 percent)-(see ENDS Report 15, p 11). But one only need look through the Thames Water Authority's statistics to find examples of well-known companies which are constantly violating their consent conditions (see also ENDS Report 15, p 1). In the Thames Water 1977 Report these included:

However, the aftermath of a recent pollution incide

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