Good News Stories for Leighton Buzzard environment.

Good News Stories for Leighton Buzzard environment.

We love it when we hear good news about our area and there is lots to be happy about here

The pollution of our rivers and streams has been big news across the country in recent
months, and sadly this occurs locally. But a group of Greensand Trust volunteers have
helped identify (and hopefully solve) a pollution issue in the River Ouzel in Leighton Buzzard
through their ‘Outfall Safari’ activities.


An ‘Outfall Safari’ involves a simple walking survey, mapping where outfalls go into a river,
and then monitoring these to check for potential problems such as mis-connected plumbing
(where ‘foul’ waste ends up going straight into a river instead of going to a sewage works for
treatment). Outfall Safari training for volunteers has been provided through the Upper and
Bedford Ouse Catchment Partnership.


On a very wet Friday morning in October the group met at the footbridge over the River
Ouzel near King Street in Leighton Buzzard – many outfalls were hidden by rising water
levels, but it didn’t take long to identify a major issue – an outfall next to the group’s meet
point was spewing brown water, wet wipes and far worse!


The incident was phoned through to the Environment Agency’s Pollution Hotline, and the
Trust has been liaising with them since then. The Agency have been working with Anglian
Water to investigate and has identified the cause – a property in a nearby residential street
was misconnected, with foul water that should have been going for treatment going straight
into the river! The Agency have worked with Anglian Water to resolve the issue and works
took place to connect the property properly to the treatment system. The group will still be
keeping a beady eye (and nose) on the now infamous ‘Outfall 16’, but fingers crossed the
issue is sorted and the river is in better health for it.

EA Environment Officer Tom Robertson said:

“Thank you to all the volunteers for alerting us to this issue – it allowed ourselves and Anglian Water to work together to stop the discharge of sewage into the Ouzel. The photographs and videos supplied by the volunteers were very helpful in steering Anglian Water into action. I believe, from our collective efforts in this area of the Ouzel, the overall biological health of the watercourse will now improve.”

Greensand Trust Director of Development, who is also Vice-Chair of the Catchment Partnership, said:

“This really demonstrates the potential for local people to make a real difference, prompting action where pollution could have carried on happening for years.”

Find out more at www.greensandtrust.org
The Upper and Bedford Ouse Catchment Partnership brings together relevant partners to plan and deliver activities and projects that will improve water quality, channel structure, habitat quality and biodiversity in the Upper and Bedford Ouse Catchment. See: www.ubocp.org.uk.

So many features you might miss!

Get this week's articles straight to your inbox

Just that and nothing else

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

So many features you might miss!

Get this week's articles straight to your inbox

Just that and nothing else

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Post Comment