Garbage piled up in streets and untreated sewage poured into Britain's rivers today (Sunday) as public service workers continued their strikes for more pay.
Garbage piled up in streets and untreated sewage poured into Britain's rivers today (Sunday) as public service workers continued their strikes for more pay. Officials warned that rivers would turn into open sewers and there might be a danger of an epidemic if the situation did not improve.
Troops were put on the alert, with all leave cancelled, in case the government decided to call them in to man the sewage stations. The River Thames, which flows through the heart of London, was also affected. Sewage was being "Settled" and then allowed to flow untreated into the River lee, which runs into the Thames.
The situation depends crucially on the weather. As the main drainage and sewage tunnels are connected, heavy rain could bring sewage flooding back into streets and homes.
Householders in London have been urged to take their refuse to collection points which were open during the weekend. Special plastic bags are being distributed by many local councils.
The wave of public service strikes started in London last Tuesday (September 29). Dustmen, ambulance drivers, market sweepers and gravediggers have since spread the strikes all over the country.
They are supported by three trade unions who are calling for 20 per cent pay increases for 770,000 local authority employees.