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The Projects - Coy Pond Gardens 2002-2004

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Pollution Issues

Combating Contamination of Bourne Pools

We have seen quite a range of contaminants pass through Bourne Pools in the 30 months since it was created, and these below are just a few of them.

Thanks to the watchfulness and regular reporting of local residents, and the swift action of the Wessex Water Streamclean team, we seem to have cured the worst and most persistent of them.

The white substance (right, Nov 2003) had been a particularly regular visitor, and shocking to see.  It wasn't until we opened up the stream to create Bourne Pools that it's full impact was noticed as you can see from the photograph.  Wessex Water were able to visually trace it by working backward from Coy Pond Road, lifting manhole covers to track the substances progress through the surface water sewer system to its source.  The company responsible was unaware of it's impact downstream and the problem was attributed to a fractured pipe. 

In March 2005, following several recurrences, the company was advised to have all it's surface water drainage redirected to the foul sewer (with the permission of Wessex Water) in order to cease it's impact on the Bourne Stream.  That has been successful.

The grey substance (left, March 2005) was seen more frequently, and over a longer period of time.  Analysis of samples proved inconclusive.  The substance's behaviour in water was confusing.  With residents watching, reporting and photographing the incidents we were able to spot a pattern in its appearances which eventually - in April 2006 - triggered something in Nick's mind (Nick works with Poole's Leisure Services).  We investigated his hunch and, sure enough, discovered the culprit. 

Again, it was a completely unintentional pollution by someone who had no idea that much of Poole's public (surface water) and foul sewers are separate, and that the substance was entering the stream.  We are not expecting a recurrence!

Foam (left, June 2005) has been another problem at Bourne Pools but it's appearance was very irregular.  Often the incident had passed by the time we arrived, until Easter 2006 when a Surrey Road resident who overlooks the ponds reported sightings in the early hours of the morning - every morning! 

Larry and his Streamclean team kept watch on 19th April and started tracing it back up the public drainage system much as they had done with the white substance.  This was a much lengthier job, with the polluter found to be right on the edge of the stream's drainage catchment area. 

Once again, the company was unaware of its impact on the stream and is taking advice from Wessex Water and the Environment Agency to solve the problem.

What we can't really expect to combat, unfortunately, is the occasional contamination by, for instance, sand (right, Jan 2006).  Sometimes we have been able to trace the source as it's happening, to find it's sand washed into the road from a building site, or from road works or burst pipes.  Often these incidents will quickly pass and we can only log the details.  These discharges to the stream are illegal, however, and if we can trace them we will so they're always worth reporting.

August 2006.  Wessex Water's Streamclean success in the Bourne Valley.  Read the Wessex Water Press Release here

Photo L-R: Larry Spiers, Wessex Water; Claire McClumpha, Environment Agency; Sarah Austin, Bourne Stream Partnership

If you live beside or near to Coy Pond Gardens, or are a regular visitor to it, please keep watch and report any pollution to the Environment Agency's Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

Visit the Water Pollution Guide, for information about the sources of water pollution and how they can be treated, and the potential danger pollution causes.

Thank you.


SUDS - 4 Options • Ecological Surveys • Flooding Issues • Pollution Issues • Water Quality


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