Waste water from dishwashers, sinks and even toilets is being flushed directly into local rivers, according to the Environment Agency and South West Water.
Work has revealed ‘misconnected’ pipes are a common cause of pollution to rivers and streams, especially in towns and cities, and can also affect bathing waters at coastal resorts. There are at least 70 properties in Torbay with misconnection problems, according to the survey. The project began on May 1, and should run for 12 months.
These range from simple sink misconnections to larger and some commercial properties foul water discharging into the surface water systems. These systems flow into rivers, streams and important bathing waters.
Working with South West Water and Torbay Council the Environment Agency has begun a project to resolve the misconnections and reduce the levels of bacteria in Torbay’s streams, many of which flow into the bathing waters.
Mike Ingman, project officer for the Environment Agency, told the Devon Week: “We aim to improve bathing water quality ahead of new stringent EU standards due to be imposed under the revised Bathing Water Directive,’ said Mike Ingman, project officer for the Environment Agency.
“We also want to engage with tradesmen such as plumbers and builders, in order to make them aware of the importance of making the correct connection.”
The project is designed to identify which properties or activities are the main sources of the pollution and resolve them, therefore improving water quality.
Mike has been involved with bathing water improvements at Exmouth and has also taken advise from the Bristol Stream Clean Project, which has resolved some 2,000 misconnections over the last 18 years.
(from a press release)