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RAW sewage being pumped into the River Chess could kill thousands of fish, campaigners fear.
Environmentalists are worried about a 'major environmental disaster' if heavy rainfall causes sewage to be released into the river.
The problem has been made worse by low water levels which mean any dis-charge of sewage will be even more harmful to fish.
Campaigners are now calling on the government to outlaw the practice of pumping raw sewage into the river after heavy rainfall.
The River Chess Association chairman Paul Jennings said: "The practice of discharging storm water must be stopped.
"It should be embarrassing that as a well developed society we're still allowing sewage water to go into our rivers, especially little chalk streams like the River Chess."
He added: "There's a high risk that weather and flow rates will, at some point, conspire to create a major environmental disaster on the River Chess, as they have done on the River Thames."
He continued: "You have to be on the river when one of these storm water discharges takes place to understand the full odious horror of the event. It's been my misfortune to witness this first hand on two occasions and the vision will stay with me to the grave.
"The thought that people use the river for various things, such as fishing and children playing in it, knowing what can go into the river is a big worry."
Thames Water has volunteered to keep the group informed with immediate notifications of storm water discharges, with no notifications so far.
However, Mr Jenning's explained that since 2003 when they started monitoring the issue there have been up to 18 discharges of sewage a year into the Chess.
The group wants the government to tackle the problem. They also want Thames Water to increase its storage capacity so that sewage no longer needs to be released into the river. * What do you think? Email camilla firstname.lastname@example.org.