Diffusing Issues

This project focuses on ways to address diffuse water pollution issues in the parishes of Marthall and Ollerton.  This is because many of the rural homes here rely on septic tanks, and also because the water quality of the two local waterbodies, Marthall and Pedley Brooks, is in ecologically poor condition.

Diffuse pollution is caused when pollutants from a range of dispersed urban and rural activities contaminate our waterways.

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Phosphates

 One pollutant found in both Marthall and Pedley Brooks is phosphate. This is a natural mineral nutrient, and therefore usually supports aquatic life. However, artificial phosphates can be found in household cleaning products, fat, oils and food waste; all of which have to be dealt with by the sewage treatment works or home treatment system. A lot of phosphate is removed by United Utilities at their sewage treatment works. However not all wastewater goes through sewage treatment works. If you have a septic tank you can find out more about how to maintain this here.  Excess phosphate causes algae to grow, and when algae grows excessively it prevents sunlight from reaching other plants in the brooks. As a result, the light deprived plants die and use oxygen to decompose. This reduces oxygen available to fish, fish eggs and invertebrates, affecting fish behaviour and water quality and other animals further up the food chain.

So, what can you do to help?

Householders can take action to reduce phosphate levels in Marthall and Pedley Brooks by:

Using phosphate free household products - brands such as Ecover, Bio-D, Method and Faith in Nature are all phosphate free. All can be purchased in large supermarkets (Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Co-op).

Managing food wasteavoiding pouring fats and oils down the sink (even small amounts can cause problems), not letting food scraps go down the drain and choose to compost food waste rather than using a sink macerator.

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Reducing Water Use

Use the shower for two minutes less every day, turn off the taps when brushing your teeth and only boil as much water as you need for a meal or a cup of tea.

Managing Food Waste

Avoiding pouring fats and oils down the sink (even small amounts can cause problems), not letting food scraps go down the drain and choose to compost food waste rather than using a sink macerator.

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Throughout the course of this project Mersey Rivers Trust will be holding community events, writing in local newsletters and distributing leaflets and information packs.  For details on any of this please contact us here

This work project is also complemented by work with local farmers and United Utilities to tackle all sources of phosphate pollution in the area.  This project is funded by the Environment Agency.

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Mersey Basin Campaign | Resources

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