There have been several reports recently looking at ways to determine how well our rivers are doing:
A Cornish school pupil is using satellite imagery to track sewage pollution in rivers. Arthur, 13, who attends Mullion School near Helston in Cornwall, said he had adapted existing satellite image feeds to monitor the pollution that sampling stations could be missing. It shows the amount of chlorophyll in the water, produced by algae which grows rapidly in polluted water.
Artificial intelligence will be used in south-west England to predict pollution before it happens and help prevent it. It’s hoped the pilot project in Devon will help improve water quality at the seaside resort of Combe Martin, making it a better place for swimming.
Sensors placed in rivers and fields will build a picture of the state of local rivers, rainfall and soil. AI will then combine that data with satellite imagery of local land use. It will predict when the local river system is most vulnerable to things like agricultural runoff, allowing for measures such as asking farms to hold off on applying fertiliser.
A dye test that was supposed to determine the site of a storm overflow in Devon has failed. South West Water (SWW) said it released the dye near Maer Rocks on Exmouth Beach at the request of the community but the test was “inconclusive”. The company said it would “explore further options” to confirm the discharge location.
Campaigners said beachgoers needed to know the location of the outfall pipe due to concerns over water quality. Geoff Crawford, from End Sewage Convoys and Pollution Exmouth, said the exact location of the pipe would determine how frequently the water would need to be tested. He said it was possible the pipe could be in a different location to where SWW had understood it to be.