Water Pollution Solutions
It seems to be a little known fact
that any substance entering our surface water drainage system (i.e. the
drains in the street) is likely to end up in the stream, washed down
there by rain.
It's important that we are aware of this, and that
we take whatever small steps we can to prevent pollution of our local
How you can help ...
In your garden
Excess fertiliser and pesticides
applied to lawns and gardens wash off and pollute streams. Lawn
clippings and leaves can wash into surface water drains and contribute
nutrients and organic matter to streams.
Fertilizer isn't a
problem if it's properly used. In water it acts just as it does in
your garden - it makes things grow - but in the stream it can be unsightly algae and aquatic plant life that grows to excess. As
algae decay they use up oxygen that fish and other aquatic organisms
need to survive.
Don’t over water your lawn; consider
using a hose instead of a sprinkler;
Use pesticides, fertilisers and other
sparingly. Better still,
use organic mulch or safer pest controls whenever possible;
Compost or mulch garden waste;
Cover piles of sand or dirt that are
being used in landscaping projects;
Have a water butt installed to reduce
run-off from your roof, and use the water on your garden.
oil and debris that collect in car parks and paved areas can be washed
into surface water drains and eventually into the stream.
sweep up litter and debris from pavements, driveways and car parks - especially
around surface water drains.
any oil or chemical spill to the Environment Agency; they’ll know how
best to keep it from causing too much harm.
hotline number is 0800-807060
Resurfacing your drive,
patio or forecourt
concrete, tarmac and block paving surfaces rely heavily on surface water
drains to divert unwanted water.
Permeable systems allow rain to
soak through, decreasing surface water run-off.
Ask your contractor, or contact our
(even the biodegradable types) can have a poisonous effect on all types
of aquatic life, and cause severe damage to fish gills.
your car and degreasing parts at home can send detergents and other
contaminants through the surface water drains to the stream.
try to wash you car where water can infiltrate the
ground rather than run to drains (on the lawn, or a
otherwise, use a commercial car wash – one that
treats or recycles its wastewater preferably!
repair leaks and dispose of oils, other
fluids and unwanted batteries at designated or recycling locations
Dumping engine oil and other fluids into the drain is another
Oil doesn't dissolve
in water. It lasts a long time and sticks to everything, from
sediment to birds feathers. Oil and other petroleum products are
toxic to people, wildlife and plants.
Building & DIY
from local building projects has shown up as a problem since
Streamclean started, so please don't brush any unwanted building
materials down the nearest surface water drain.
from construction activities can have a significant impact on water
quality, contributing sediment and other pollutants exposed at
cover loose materials so that sand and cement, etc.
doesn't get washed down by rain
on new developments, try to seed
or mulch bare areas as soon as possible.
toilets, washing machines, dishwashers, baths, and
showers are connected to the sewer - NOT to a surface
from building works can impact the aquatic
ecosystem by affecting photosynthesis, respiration, and reproduction of
waste can be a major source of bacteria and excess nutrients to the
stream - and a public health hazard too, especially for children playing
in the shallow waters.
Just as with human
waste, it's full of bacteria that can make people (especially children) and other animals very
Pet waste is washed by rain from streets and gardens in the
catchment area and can enter the stream through the surface water
drainage system, so please clean up after your pet wherever you are.
walking your pet, and even in your own garden, please pick up pet waste
and dispose of it properly (at home, flushing is the best disposal
Together, oil and fuel are responsible for a quarter of all water
pollution incidents. Leaks and spills from sites such as petrol stations
and oil stores add to this problem and can cause pollution of
Water Pollution Guide,
for information about the sources of
water pollution and how they can be treated,
and the potential danger
it's an offence under the Water Resources Act 1991 to cause pollution of
any waters, whether accidental of otherwise.