2. Chesham Pollution Prevention Project

Aims: Involve people with their local waterbodies; Improve water quality; Work together

Water body: River Chess
Project description

Partnership project to identify and address persistent pollution of the Chess from urban and rural sources.

 The River Chess Association worked together with the Environment Agency to identify the sources of pollution that affecting the quality of the Vale Brook and upper River Chess.  The Vale Brook is in culvert for much of its length, beneath Chesham Town Centre, and has over many years become the conduit of waste and runoff from the town. Road drainage improvements in the last 15 years have greatly increased the surface water catchment area of the Brook and has led to significantly more runoff reaching the R. Chess in recent years.  The Environment Agency identified a number of polluters and conducted a number of business inspections in the town since the project was set up in 2013. The RCA and Impress the Chess identified a persisten pollution problem in Old Chesham where sediment loaded runoff was entering the river at Water Lane. ITC worked with Bucks County Highways to identify the source of the pollution and BCC installed a SUDs device at the bottom of Fullers Hill to intercept & treat the runoff. This intervention has significantly reduced the amount of sediment entering the river.

The River Chess Association continue to monitor the Brook for water quality through their Riverfly monitoring programme and flow rates, through spot flow gauging in support of the R. Chess Low Flows Investigation.

Project lead: River Chess Association
Project partners: Chilterns Chalk Streams Project, Environment Agency, Chesham Town Council
Contact for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Project start: 2012

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting. From an original concept by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.