Comedian David Walliams has been advised to cut short his charity swim down the River Thames due to the amount of sewage dumped into it in central London recently.
He is swimming along the river for the Big Splash Challenge for Sport Relief and is due to arrive in the capital in the next few days.
However, Thames Water said about 500,000m3 of raw sewage had entered the river via combined sewer overflows since Monday.
“We’ve been in touch with David Walliams’ team and he’ll have to make his own decisions,” said Thames Water sustainability director Richard Aylard. “We’re not public health experts but I wouldn’t recommend swimming in it.”
Thames Water is currently in public consultation over its proposed £3.6bn Thames Tunnel, part of the London Tideway Improvements scheme that would dramatically cut the 32M.m3 of raw sewage that is discharged into Thames each year.
The Little Britain star has fallen behind schedule in his charity eight-day swim along the Thames. He began in Gloucestershire on 5 September but suffered a high temperature and struggled to keep up his pace. Sport Relief said Walliams still intended to swim the London section.