The Quality Of The Water In Our Rivers & Streams Impacts Biodiversity. But How Is Quality Assessed? And Who Conducts Water Quality Monitoring Tests?
Water quality can be tested in various ways with some evidence of pollution being visually obvious whilst other measures need chemical tests. In some rivers a degree of turbidity is natural to a specific catchment, especially after heavy rain. But clear water doesn’t automatically mean we have healthy water. Some pollutants aren’t visible and can be present in clear water. That’s why conducting tests is vital if we are to accurately monitor and record water quality.
In the Sid Valley a number of volunteers work with the Westcountry Rivers Trust to regularly monitor water quality. The tests include turbidity, temperature, total dissolved solids and phosphate tests carried out using a test kit. This is enhanced by visual surveys of certain species such as otter, kingfishers etc and the reporting of invasive species.
The results are recorded online on Cartographer software which allows aggregation of results across catchments and the region. These results are then available to the Environment Agency and inform their decisions at local and National level.
The attached video is of the latest Westcountry Rivers Trust webinar and shows how results are being used to produce a rivers scorecard.
If you’d like to be take part in surveying your local stream or river please contact us via the contacts page.