Anglers fear effects of washing machines on our rivers

CONCERN is growing about the impact of microplastics and detergents discharged every day from washing machines direct into rivers.

Washing machines are contributing to worrying levels of hidden pollution.

About ten per cent of washing machines do not get connected to the mains drainage which then goes onto sewage treatment plants.

It’s usually those washing machines in outbuildings, garages and some extension.

But they get connected to the rain drains – meaning the discharge goes directly into river systems, untreated.

Environmentalist and Angler’s Mail reader Alan Staley explained: “The consequence of this waste entering the water course is much more algae as the phosphates in the detergents ‘feed’ the algae.

“I know of one reservoir near me in the Severn-Trent area that has been affected by this run off but it is very difficult for the EA and water companies to trace the origins.

“I have reported incidents but each individual discharge is small and it is the cumulative impact which is the problem.

“All households need the information about what drains to connect to. Building inspectors also need to check extensions connect to the right drain – not just any drain.

“I just hope we can get anglers to understand the problem and check their own washing machines are properly connected.

“To make matters worse it has been discovered that the waste contains micro plastics that end up in the food chain, including fish and ultimately us.

“Each machine wash of artificial fibres can shed up to 700,000 microplastics into our ecosystem.

“Microplastics are now in our rivers and oceans, our fish, our salt, our food chain – we need to stem the flow at the source.

“Washing manufacturers have the technology already to add appropriate filters, but chose not too, unless there is consumer pressure.

“A parliamentary petition has been set up to force manufacturers to install microplastic filters on new washing machines as standard, and all anglers should try to sign it,” he concluded.

The petition has already reached 15,991 signatures. It received a detailed written response from the Government which states there are no plans to introduce legislation to make filters compulsory.

But the Government has set a target to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste within the lifetime of the 25-year Environment Plan (by 2042). It has set aside £20 million for research and development managed through the Plastics Innovation Fund.

The petition is at:

GOT A STORY, OR VIEWS OR GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to:

For the best exclusive content, read Angler’s Mail magazine this week. The print issue of Angler’s Mail is in shops priced £2.20. Get your copy asap.


Get Angler’s Mail (print or digital version) to you every week at a great price ▶ SUBSCRIBE & SAVE HERE!

Subs deals mean you can get every AM magazine issue, delivered to you, from just £1.30 a week!

An ‘AM sub’ also makes a great gift for you, or for any angler..

You may also like to read these Angler’s Mail stories…

Read more:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *