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Video: Community Invited to “Taste the Pollution” in Startling Art Installation

Patternup.pu's latest work, a water barrel filled with sewage, raises eyebrows at Southern Water’s headquarters.

A provocative new art installation by the artist known as Patternup.pu has drawn attention to the persistent issue of sewage dumping by Southern Water and other UK water companies. The installation, featuring a water barrel filled with faux and real sewage items, has been displayed outside Southern Water’s headquarters and in Churchill Square Shopping Centre, sparking significant public reaction.

The artwork responds to the growing frustration over Southern Water’s history of sewage discharges into seas and rivers. Despite widespread knowledge of these practices, highlighted by numerous articles and reports, the problem persists. In 2021, Southern Water was fined £90 million for discharging billions of litres of raw sewage into protected coastal waters.

Recent statistics reveal a troubling trend. In 2023 alone, Southern Water recorded 317,285 hours of sewage discharge, an alarming 83% increase from the previous year. Across the UK, sewage discharge by water companies has surged by 105% this year, despite ongoing lawsuits and heavy fines aimed at curbing such practices.

Artist Patternup.pu Critiques Excessive Sewage Dumping with Public Installation
Credit – Patternup.pu

Patternup.pu’s installation invites the public to confront this issue directly by “tasting the beautiful sewage water” being released into natural waters. While the display has been met with shock and refusal to participate, it effectively underscores the severity of the situation.

The health impacts of these discharges are severe and far-reaching. Bacterial infections from contaminated water can become bloodborne, posing life-threatening risks to humans. Additionally, continuous sewage dumping devastates marine ecosystems, threatening biodiversity and the health of coastal environments.

This artistic protest serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for stricter regulations and enforcement to protect our waterways and public health from the detrimental effects of improper sewage disposal. The installation’s placement in prominent public spaces aims to raise awareness and provoke a call to action against these ongoing environmental violations.

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