Comms Failure

Centre for Investigative Journalism


From the work of Feargal Sharkey to The Times' Clean It Up campaign, there is a clear shirking of responsibility of the United Kingdom's water companies when it comes to preserving our waterways. This investigation merges art with journalism to tell the story of one such waterway – Hogsmill River in south-west London.

Despite the Environmental Agency requiring water companies to report any sewage discharges from storm outflows, said companies are still able to dump raw sewage into UK rivers and coastal waters with little oversight. Thames Water's Hogsmill works has one such storm outflow – one which was unmonitored for 73.6% of 2021, the last recorded year. In this time, Thames Water could use the outflow with impunity. The reason given for the sensor outage – comms failure – reflects the struggles of communication, independent verification, and accountability between the public and these corporations.

Using a combination of photojournalism, investigative journalism, and cooperation with local organisations, Comms Failure attempts to take the viewer through the gruelling process of tackling these issues, and the lengths large companies go to to keep their public services private.


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I am a London-based photojournalist and documentary photographer.

My work deals with themes of privacy and accountability on some days, and just plain interesting stories on others.