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Water quality in our rivers and waterbodies can be impacted in many different ways, chemically and physically. The Water Framework Directive stipulates standards for water quality, which include a range of biological and chemical indicators, which must be measured and reported. These range from the often invisible chemical pollution, to the visible siltation which causes a reduction in oxygen levels reaching the habitat beneath the surface.


The main contributing factors to decreasing quality are from polluted water infiltrating into the groundwater and waterbodies, from the land, roads and surface water drains. This includes phosphates and nitrates which enter the water environment from water runoff from farmed land, and from outflows from human sewage, be it from treatment plants, septic tanks or and poor plumbing from people homes.

Here are some projects we have worked on to address water quality.

Topsoil projects in Essex and Suffolk

Our Topsoil projects are looking at water quality in two different ways. One in the Suffolk Sandlings looks at managing aquifers with winter recharges and whether there are water quality implications of this, and another looks are siltation in Layer Brook in Essex and what is causing this. These have been on hold for the majority of 2020 but will resume and conclude in 2021. Read more on our Topsoil pages here

Groundwork East's Yellow Fish Project

One of the East Suffolk Catchment Partnership charities is Groundwork East, which has undertaken education and awareness raising projects in Suffolk towns to address pollution into rivers via surface water drains. You can read more about it here

Although not specifically focussed on water quality improvements, many of our other projects will have improved water quality in terms of biological indicators around fish and habitats and river flow. Our Water Improvement Projects are examples of this, as well as our River Restoration projects. 

If you are concerned about the impacts of water quality from Combined Sewage Outflows, which the national Rivers Trust is campaigning on, have a look at our information note on this here and please get in touch if you are concerned. 

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