Data published in September by the Environment Agency revealed that all English rivers have failed to meet the new chemical pollution standards set in 2017. The levels of sewerage discharge, and agricultural and industrial chemicals entering our water system is still too high. Lambrok Stream is classed as a main river by the EA and must be included in these findings.
In addition, only 14% of rivers met the new standards set for ecological status. The EA classifies a waterbody’s ecological status in five stages (bad, poor, moderate, good, and high) and publishes a category called RNAGS (Reasons for Not Achieving Good Status).
The RNAGS in the Bristol Avon catchment area, which includes our Lambrok, show that the most significant polluter is agriculture and rural land management followed by the water industry, in particular that part of the water industry that deals with waste water. The third and fourth most significant RNAGS are called urban and transport and domestic general public.
Two things are immediately obvious. Firstly, in order to protect our Lambrok, we need to lobby the agricultural industry, a powerful group in Wiltshire; and secondly, we must hold the developers that have applied to build houses at H2.4, H2.5 and H2.6 to the highest possible standards of mitigation.
The domestic run-off from these sites into the Lambrok will include the salt used on the steep access roads; insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers from gardens; engine oil and anti-freeze from vehicles, and detergents used to wash cars. The developers of the steep sites at H2.4 and H2.5 have proposed attenuation ponds for the collection and filtration of run-off; we feel that this will not be sufficient to protect the stream and that Wiltshire’s planning department should not accept these proposals until mitigation is improved.
If the Bristol Avon catchment area is to improve the water quality and ecological status of its tributary rivers and streams, we have to act at a local level.
Header and footer pictures by DKG