An Investigation of Water Quality of a Regenerated Urban Watercourse

Coombs, C (2007) An Investigation of Water Quality of a Regenerated Urban Watercourse. [Dissertation]

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The quality of urban streams is of vital importance as they provide water for drinking,
industrial usage, waste disposal and recreation. The literature states the mostly
negative affects urban areas can create with the problem of diffuse pollution
becoming more of a threat as the complex interactions and relationships of hydrology
and urban form are not fully understood. The Environment Agency is tasked with
monitoring and improving all watercourses in the United Kingdom, yet there is the
risk that small urban streams may be omitted from assessment programs as their
numbers grow and resources are stretched. The aim of the project was to investigate
whether remedial works carried out on the brook had improved water quality.
Samples were taken from a 2 km stretch of Savick Brook in August, September and
October 2006 in accordance with the Environment Agency General Quality
Assessment Scheme and statistically compared with data from previous years (1996-
2005) at the same location obtained by the Environment Agency. The unimplemented
aesthetic GQA method was trialled on the stretch to assess its feasibility. Results from
the chemical determinands showed no significant statistical improvement to chemical
water quality resulting from the remedial works as it remained fair to good on the
GQA scale. The aesthetic GQA trial proved useful to highlight visual pollution
problems not identified by the chemical GQA. The remedial works undertaken on the
stretch were identified as an example of prompted recovery utilising soft engineering
techniques to achieve improvements in flow characteristics and channel quality.

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