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Posted Tue Sep 22 2009: from London Guardian:
Most English and Welsh rivers too dirty for new European standards
Only five of the 6,114 rivers in England and Wales are in pristine condition, and more than three-quarters are expected to fail new European quality standards, says the government's fullest-ever ecological assessment of water quality. The report, by the official pollution watchdog, the Environment Agency, shows that 117 English and Welsh rivers are ranked on a par with the dirtiest rivers in eastern Europe, a further 742 are considered to be in "poor condition" and 3,654, or 60 percent, are in "moderate" condition. The chemical and biological state of UK rivers, wetlands, lakes, estuaries and coastal waters has improved considerably in the last decade, but the results are highly embarrassing because the government is legally required by Europe to ensure that 95 percent of all British rivers are in "good" ecological condition by 2015. Today, just 26 percent are in that category and at the present rate of improvement, the report says, only a further 5 percent will meet this target.
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'Doc Jim says:
Maybe their standards are just too high!

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