Martin Stew of ITN was in Harefield on Monday 24th June to interview Tony Booker, Colne Catchment Co-host, on the subject of Water Quality.

Their visit had been prompted by the publication of a report by Earthwatch Europe of citizen science monitoring which took place from 7 to 10 June this year. Thousands of volunteers measured their local water quality as part of the Great UK WaterBlitz, collecting more than 1,300 datasets. The report found that 75% of British rivers are in poor ecological health as a result of pollution from water companies and agricultural runoff. With rivers in the south-east and East Anglia regions of England, including the Thames basin, found to be among those in the worst state, with 89% of rivers failing to meet tests for good ecological health in those areas. See here for more details of the report.
We also know that no rivers meet good chemical status.

TonyBeingInterviewedWidth300On arrival in Harefield the reporter spotted Bob Grundy a local canoeist who said that the contaminated water in the river had recently made him so sick that he had to take two weeks off work and sadly missed his friend’s funeral.
According to Tony, 20 years ago this spot was renowned as one of the most prolific fisheries in the South east. Now the fish density is much lower with few juvenile fish surviving which means they aren’t coming through to replenish stocks and so the decline is likely to continue.
Tony said that it was great to have so much focus on sewage in rivers in the media right now, but it is also important to discuss the many other types of pollutants that have been found. He was keen to talk to them about the report published by Colne Valley Fisheries Consultative on Micropollutants in the River Colne 2023 and the current work being carried out by the ColneCAN water quality working group which involves water sampling at numerous sites across the catchment. These are then analysed using a range of analytical processes by ColneCAN partners: Thames Water, Affinity Water and Dr Thomas Miller at the Centre for Pollution Research and Policy at Brunel University.

More Information

Great UK Waterblitz Report 24/06/24

Citizen testing finds 75% of rivers in Britain in poor ecological health 24/06/24  

Local River Pollution Problems need Solutions 17/04/24

Sewage Pollution of the River Colne in Harefield Makes the National News 05/04/24

Sewage Pollution of the River Misbourne: its cause and effect 29/02/24

The River Colne - A Toxic Soup of Chemicals ? 20/04/23


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