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Wastewater management must have greater focus on protecting public health, says report

BMJ 2024; 385 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.q1142 (Published 21 May 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;385:q1142
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

The management of wastewater and sewage must improve to protect the public from exposure to human faecal pathogens in effluent discharged into waterways, a report by the National Engineering Policy Centre has urged.1

Public exposure to these pathogens is an increasing concern in recent years, the report says, because of the rising use of UK coastal and inland open waters for recreational activities, such as wild swimming, rowing, canoeing, and sailing.

Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, said that while tackling cholera had been the initial impetus for developing clean water and sewage systems in the 19th century, the monitoring and improvement of water quality now focused on environmental and ecological issues. Speaking at a press briefing at the Science Media Centre on 20 …

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