Theo Thomas

London Waterkeeper
London, United Kingdom

Theo Thomas is a Waterkeeper Warrior.

Every single one of London’s rivers suffers from pollution. They have all failed water quality standards. Because the authorities aren’t ensuring that these waters remain clean.

So London Waterkeeper Theo Thomas has stepped in… to hold polluters accountable and deliver safer access to his city’s waterways.

You see, there are days when the Thames is safe for swimming. When people can enjoy what this historic river has to offer. But when it rains…it’s an entirely different story.

Stormwater runoff causes the river to swell with torrents of sewage water. And while no one is going to willingly swim in unsafe water…

What if the pollution isn’t visible? What if they don’t know? Then they go for a swim…and they get sick.

That’s why Theo is working to develop a safe swimming app. As a result of his efforts, the Thames Water utility company has accepted the fact that they must inform people when it’s safe to swim. This education is critical, and Theo is making sure they stick to their commitment.

But his work goes far beyond the Thames…and far beyond safe swimming.

Theo is demanding that all environmental information be made public. He’s working to integrate plantings and porous surfaces to help the city become more resilient to climate change. And he’s helping people establish deeper connections with London’s rivers.

Because when you understand the value of your waterway, you can play a greater role in what needs fixing.

Listen to Theo’s story:

Photographed by © Finn Beales, courtesy of Culture Trip, with story voiced by Susan Sarandon

Waterkeeper Magazine

Learn more about Theo in the two-part 20th Anniversary edition of Waterkeeper Magazine.

Return to the full Waterkeeper Warriors gallery.