AI reveals 1,000 'dark discharges' of untreated sewage in England

Nearly 1,000 “dark discharges” of untreated sewage from two water company treatment plants in England have been detected by scientists using artificial intelligence to map spills.

The use of machine learning to shine a light on the scale of pollution from untreated effluent being spilled into rivers could be a crucial tool in efforts to improve the quality of rivers, a paper says.

Prof Peter Hammond, visiting scientist at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, who co-authored the paper published in the journal Clean Water, used artificial intelligence to analyse data from two unidentified water companies’ waste treatment works from 2009 to 2018.

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