Water and Waste Treatment news in brief

Northumbrian Water assists the Environment Agency's study into fish movements; an algae incident at Bute East Dock in Cardiff; most private water supplies are unfit to drink; and the risk of construction-related pollution incidents.

News in brief from Water and Waste Treatment:

  • Extra water has been released from Kielder reservoir by Northumbrian Water, to enable the Environment Agency to complete a study on the effect of increased flow on fish movements. During the four-day study, fisheries officers counted and trapped fish to analyse the size and species present.
  • Reports of UK freshwater algae incidents include a blue-green algae bloom at Bute East dock in Cardiff. The dock receives water from the River Taff, which will also supply the Cardiff Bay barrage lake, soon to be impounded.
  • Most private water supplies are unfit to drink, according to a study by environmental health expert David Clapham. Speaking at the congress of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), he revealed the results of a study, which showed that: “94% of private water supplies were contaminated with pathogens such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium.” More than 300,000 people a year drink water from private water supplies in the UK. People considered to be most at risk are those staying at campsites or holiday cottages which do not have mains water supply.
  • Construction firms are under the Environment Agency (EA) spotlight, following an increase in the number of construction-related pollution incidents. Last year, there were at least 625 cases of water pollution caused by the construction industry in England and Wales, a figure which is said to be rising still further. The EA has accused construction contractors of “overlooking basic precautions” and being “careless” when handling oil and fuel. Failure to comply with an EA notice to clean up or deal with a potential source of pollution could result in a fine of £20,000 or even a prison term.

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