Pollution Tracing Surveys

Organisation: APEM & Rivers Trusts

Location: National

Type: Technical Support & Training

Link: Visit Website

Several organisations have now developed walk-over survey methodologies for locating sediment pollution in river catchments.

The exact methodologies involved vary, but they all involve walking along watercourses (usually in wet weather), looking for sediment or other pollution entering the watercourse and tracing it back to its source in the landscape.

Once sources of pollution have been identified, interventions can be delivered to mitigate them or disconnect the pollution pathway carrying pollutants to the watercourse. It is important to note that these surveys give a very quick snap-shot of the situation in a catchment (which by their nature are highly transient) and solutions must be enacted immediately to ensure success.

Perhaps the most extensive surveys of this kind have been undertaken by APEM on behalf of the Environment Agency. The APEM methodology has now been used by them and others to assess over 14,000km of river in the UK and they now offer training in the application of this method. APEM have recently developed the approach to identify diffuse urban pollution and have worked in partnership with Mersey Rivers Trust to trial the approach.



In addition, a number of Rivers Trusts have developed their own versions of this approach to river corridor assessment, here are just a few:


Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust

Volunteer to carry out walkover surveys along the beautiful Rivers of the Yorkshire Dales.

Visit site

Ribble Rivers Trust

Ribble Rivers Trust

Get in touch before doing a survey, we can provide a detailed map of the area and highlight any issues to look out for.

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Severn Rivers Trust

If you love your river, why not get out there and help it out.

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Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust

Take a look and see what we have been finding.

Visit site

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