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 Environment Agency pledges focus on sources of river pollution through state of the art technology

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PostSubject: Environment Agency pledges focus on sources of river pollution through state of the art technology   Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:33 pm

22nd October
Environment Agency pledges focus on sources of river pollution through state of the art technology

The Environment Agency today revealed that it will be deploying state of the art technology to help tackle diffuse pollution from farms and urban areas.

This is part of a programme of 8500 studies the Environment Agency will carry out to help improve the quality of rivers over the next two years.

Improvements in water quality over the last two decades have primarily been achieved through successful action on pollution from sources such as factories and sewage treatment works (‘point source pollution’).

Last month, the Environment Agency published its annual classification of water quality in rivers in England – revealing they are the cleanest they have been since the industrial revolution. Recent reports have shown that record numbers of otters, salmon and trout are now being found in rivers like the Thames and the Tyne. The Thames, which in places was declared biologically dead in the 1950s, was last week crowned winner in the International Theiss River prize, the world’s biggest environmental award.

The Agency will increasingly focus on pollution from agricultural land, highways and urban areas, which is now the main cause of failing water standards in many areas, but is harder to identify. One way of better understanding this issue is the deployment of new technology in areas of concern.
Tamar trial

A pilot study for the new technology will take place on the River Tamar between Devon and Cornwall. A variety of sensors will be placed in the river to automatically sample water quality and send the results back electronically to a central location. New software will allow the sensors to work together as one, providing an instant snapshot of the health of the river. If successful and cost-effective, the Environment Agency will look at using the technology in other problematic areas around the country.

The trial on the Tamar will start in November and last for an initial five months. It will involve placing 11 sensors along a 20km stretch of river and will help identify and tackle the problem of agricultural pollution in the river - one of England's most beautiful waterways. Although the river is cleaner than 20 years ago, the impact of diffuse pollution has continued to create challenges in some stretches.
New standards

The trial comes as the Environment Agency publishes its classification update of rivers under new, tougher standards set out under the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD).

The WFD assessment focuses on the ecological health of waters. In total, 37 measures of water quality, including the health of river insects and plants, are assessed and the grading of each water body is determined by the measure which scores the lowest result.

Under this more stringent system, 27.8 per cent of water bodies are classed as ‘good’ or ‘high’, 57.2 per cent ‘moderate’, 13.1 per cent ‘poor’ and 1.8 per cent ‘bad’. However, more than a third of water bodies missed out on the ‘good’ status by just one of the thirty-seven different indicators. This means that by taking action to improve a single measure, many more waters will achieve ‘good’ status. These results are an improvement on last year’s and indicate that the actions already being taken are improving water quality.

River modification, including walled banks through towns and cities, culverts, dams and weirs is a factor in over a quarter of rivers failing to achieve ‘good’ WFD status.

Dr. Paul Leinster, Environment Agency Chief Executive said:

“River quality in England and Wales has steadily improved over the last 20 years and newer, more stringent EU standards will help ensure that they continue to do so.”

“The return of wildlife including otters and salmon to rivers demonstrates the tangible benefit this provides for wildlife and for people, but we are not complacent. The Environment Agency is committed to tackling diffuse pollution and will be working with community groups, River Trusts and wildlife and angling organisations who all have important roles to play in improving waterways.”
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PostSubject: Re: Environment Agency pledges focus on sources of river pollution through state of the art technology   Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:28 am

start of the art technology, oh yeah, what about carbon filters on sewage outflows to stop fish changing sex, not state of the art and not fitted
more flim flam folks
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