The cause of pollution in the Stort Navigation in Bishops Stortford has been identified and resolved, resulting in a marked improvement to water quality in the river.
The Stort Navigation in Bishops Stortford was identified as an area affected by pollution, in particular excess nutrients entering the water, leading to excessive plant growth (eutrophication) and reduced levels of oxygen in the water.
With no obvious cause identified, the Environment Agency decided to install electronic data loggers to measure what was happening and identify the sources of the pollution.
Subsequent analysis showed that the problem stemmed from polluted outfalls in the town. Shahnaz Issac, and Environment Agency Officer, worked with Thames Water and its contractors and were able to identify numerous misconnections in the town, including 41 from one business premises alone!
The findings were communicated to householders and local business owners, and their positive response means that many of the misconnections have been repaired or improved. As a result, the water quality of the Stort Navigation in Bishops Stortford has markedly improved.
Misconnections can have a significant impact on the health of local rivers. Advice on how to check if your property is misconnected can be found at: www.connectright.org.uk