A brief review of the extent to which the sea is used for the disposal of sewage sludge in the U.K. is followed by specific references to the activities of each dumping authority and more details of the largest of these operations, by Thames Water, from London. A discussion of the trends and attitudes to sludge dumping at home and abroad stresses the need to retain a proper perspective on dumping in relation to other sludge disposal options and reminds environmentalists that costs cannot be ignored in seeking to minimise effects. The paper concludes with a suggested philosophy on which future sludge disposal decisions might be based.

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