Volunteers can’t save our rivers from this tide of filth

Citizen scientists are no replacement for an underfunded and toothless Environment Agency

click link: Volunteers can’t save our rivers from this tide of filth | Letters | The Guardian

Citizen scientists join fight to clean up rivers

According to the environmental charity Earthwatch, people are increasingly taking pollution monitoring into their own hands.

click link:Citizen scientists join fight to clean up rivers - BBC News

Catastrophic effect of warming temperatures on river life in Wales

A 42-year-long study carried out in 14 streams in the Cambrian Mountains has revealed the catastrophic effect of warming water temperatures on Wales’ river life.

click link: Catastrophic effect of warming temperatures on river life in Wales - Wales Online

Pollution and climate change hamper biological recovery of rivers

Researchers from Cardiff University analysed nearly 50,000 invertebrates collected from about 4,000 streams and rivers. Emma Pharaoh, a researcher at the university’s school of biosciences, said: “Invertebrates are important indicators of river health, reflecting pollution and other human impacts. By looking at the types of invertebrates living on the riverbed, we can get a good picture of river health. The research showed that some improvements in rivers in England and Wales appear to have slowed, possibly reflecting the effects of emerging water quality problems from sewage, agricultural pollution, climate change and new forms of pollution, including microplastics and pharmaceuticals.

Click link: Pollution and climate change hamper biological recovery of rivers (

Study finds sewage bacteria in ocean spray

After a rainstorm passes, the air coming off the ocean just feels different – cleaner and fresher. But a first of its kind study shows how bacteria from sewage in the oceancan get whipped up in salt spray and blow into coastal communities miles away, a phenomenon exacerbated by storm runoff.

click link: Not a breath of fresh air: study finds sewage bacteria in ocean spray | US news | The Guardian

Stormwater Management at The Cog Moors Wastewater Treatment Works in Wales

Wales is said to be wetter throughout the year than Northern Ireland and England, and is known for intense rainfall activity. Therefore, effectively treating and managing the country’s substantial stormwater runoff is of utmost importance. It’s also subject to increased scrutiny from governing bodies. Trojan Technologies worked with Imtech Process Ltd – Cog Moors WwTW’s engineering contractor – to complete modeling and run a pilot project from May 2007 to January 2008. These studies proved to Cog Moors WwTW and the EAW that not only was UV technology very effective in treating stormwater, it was also the better economic and environmental choice.

click link: Stormwater Management - Cog Moors WwTW | TrojanUV Resources

Swansea Waste Water Treatment uses Ultra Violet Processing

Swansea WwTWis operated by Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and is a keytreatment plant because SwanseaBay is designated as bathing water.

Swansea Bay Wastewater Treatment Works wasbuilt in 1998 at a cost of £40 million. The majority of the sewage treated at the works comes from the Swansea Valley and eastern and central areas of the city, and has the capacity to deal with waste received from 188,000 households.

click link: Safeguarding Public Health – Swansea Wastewater Treatment Works, Swansea Case Study (

Welsh Government conducting feasibility study on reintroduction of beavers

The results of a study on the possible reintroduction of beavers in Wales are due to be presented this spring.

click link: Welsh Government conducting feasibility study on reintroduction of beavers to Wales (

England is finally protecting the beavers that could save our failing rivers

Beavers are a keystone species, which means they exert a disproportionately important effect on the larger ecosystem. They engineer abundant river systems, the likes of which we haven’t seen for a lifetime. Studies show that active beaver wetlands can welcome up to a third more species across the food chain, compared to wetlands without beavers.

click link: Beavers can help Britain fight the climate crisis – if we welcome them back | Sophie Pavelle | The Guardian

Also: Plans to reintroduce beavers on Shropshire estate next year

The introduction of Beavers is a complex challenge

see this link: Beavers are tormenting Britain - UnHerd

Beaver Reintroduction Survey

As researchers at the University of Exeter, we are inviting residents in Wales to take part in research investigating attitudes towards Eurasian Beaver (Castor fiber) reintroduction in Wales. We would like to invite you to take part in this research, and to share this invitation within your networks.


This research aims to better understand public attitudes to beaver reintroduction in Wales, including how respondents feel about beaver management techniques and how attitudes differ between groups of people. All views are welcome. Participation is voluntary and anonymous, and the survey can be completed in Welsh or English.


Findings will be outlined in a results report that will be submitted to Natural Resources Wales and North Wales Wildlife Trust. It will also become publicly available in 2023, and participants will be offered the opportunity to opt in to receive a copy of this results report. Findings may also be reported upon in a subsequent academic publication.


This research is commissioned by North Wales Wildlife Trust with funding received through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. The research is being independently conducted by the University of Exeter. North Wales Wildlife Trust do not have oversight of the analysis.


Thank you for considering this invitation, and for any contribution you may be willing to make. Further information is available at the survey links:


If you have any questions about the survey, please email

If you have questions about beavers in Wales, please email


Afonydd Cymru Summary of Second Phosphorus Summit 

On Wednesday 8th March, 2023, the second Phosphorus Pollution Summit was held in Cardiff, hosted by First Minister, Mark Drakeford MS.

Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change an dLesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Rural Affairs were also in attendance, as were representatives from Natural Resources Wales, local authorities, the agricultural sector, house building and the environment. Representing the rivers and river trusts of Wales was Gail Davies-Walsh, CEO of Afonydd Cymru.

First Ministers summary was: ‘we need to do more and we need to do it quicker’. We also welcome his commitment to lead the governance structure being developed. What we absolutely need to see is more action.

click link: Second Phosphorus Summit: Our Summary | Afonydd Cymru

see also: New strategy agreed on reducing river pollution (

River pollution:phosphate pollution is causing "serious damage" to rivers

Experts say more phosphate, found in animal and human waste, is getting into rivers and affecting water quality.

Tougher rules on phosphate river pollution targets have been brought in - but that could affect 100,000 new-build homes in England and Wales.

Developers want governments to take urgent action to find a solution.

click link:River pollution: New phosphate rules hit thousands of planned new homes - BBC News

One man’s quest to turn sewage into eco-gold

Phosphorus in fertilizer is crucial to feeding the world but too much of the element in the environment is disastrous.

A revolution in capturing phosphorus from wastewater is underway.

Phosphorus recovery will improve water quality and create a more sustainable food system.

click link: The green genius of capturing phosphorus from sewage - Big Think

Scientists warn of ‘phosphogeddon’ as critical fertiliser shortages loom

Our planet faces “phosphogeddon”, scientists have warned. They fear our misuse of phosphorus could lead todeadly shortagesof fertilisers that would disrupt global food production. At the same time, phosphate fertiliser washed from fields – together with sewage inputs into rivers, lakes and seas – is giving rise to widespreadalgal bloomsand creating aquatic dead zones that threaten fish stocks.

click link: Scientists warn of ‘phosphogeddon’ as critical fertiliser shortages loom | Pollution | The Guardian

Australia mass fish deaths in Darling River March 2023

Global warming is a danger to river life - It follows previous large-scale fish deaths in the same area in 2018 and 2019 as a result of poor water quality and sudden temperature changes. The state planning and environment agency warned river oxygen levels could fall further this weekend as temperatures rise.

click link: Australia mass fish deaths: Slick of bodies blanket surface of major river causing a putrid stench | World News | Sky News

also: Australian police say removing millions of dead fish from Darling River near Menindee will be 'logistical nightmare' | World News | Sky News

also: At Menindee, the lifeblood of the people has turned to bitter sludge | Environment | The Guardian

Mine Water and the Environment in Wales

The Pelenna project was one of the first and largest wetland schemes to treat UK mine water and predated the formation of the Coal Authority in 1994. The Neath Port Talbot Council formed a partnership with the NRA, and its successor, Environment Agency Wales (EAW) in 1996 to construct wetlands to treat five mine water discharges, using emerging technologies such as reducing and alkalinity producing systems (RAPS) and ochre accretion terraces.

click link: Mine Water and the Environment in Wales | SpringerLink

see also: Non Coal Mine Pollution in Wales

Salisbury River Park Project: Mammal traps set on River Avon

As part of the Salisbury River Park Project, the traps have been set in place to catch any water voles that may have set up home along that stretch of water. These animals are then removed and relocated safely.

click link: Salisbury River Park Project: Mammal traps set on River Avon | Salisbury Journal

Infinite beauty, Infinite destruction, Infinite consequences: rivers and mining 

“In the very heart of the ancient hills themselves, the rushing brooks run foul with mineral waste and treatment oils and acids, and their flow is choked with heaps of stones and rubble.” Dr. Kathleen Carpenter (1928), fromLife in Inland Waters, the first British freshwater textbook.

click link: Infinite beauty, Infinite destruction, Infinite consequences: rivers and mining around Aberystwyth (

Alien plant invasions: helping British rivers to fightback

From lochs and lakes to rivers, ponds and canals, there is a diverse range of freshwater habitats in the UK, which is good news not just for biodiversity but also the economy, where they are collectivelyvalued at £39.5 billion. Rivers in particular are highly biologically diverse environments, home to a wide variety of plants, invertebrates and fish. But linked together within a river catchment, they are prone to invasion by alien species that can spread quickly between these interconnected habitats.

Invasive alien plant species are of one of the biggest concerns to river environments. These contribute to the loss of native plants and invertebrates, as well as altering soil chemistry and impeding river flow. It costs the UK government around£1.7 billionto control invasive alien species and an estimated £6m alone to control the well-known troublesomeJapanese knotweed(Fallopia japonica).

click link: Alien plant invasions: helping British rivers to fight back (