CVF draws attention to poor water quality

  • Posted on: 23 November 2022
  • By: Susan

The latest Cam Valley Forum newsletter draws attention to pollution in the Cam. In its response to the Anglian Water DWMP Consultation, CVF has established elevated counts of indicator bacteria suggesting microbial faecal source material pollution. During data collection untreated sewage was witnessed being discharged into the Cam. The Citizen Science project collected samples from 47 sites over 16 parishes on 7 occasions over a period of 16 months, which were analysed at a specialist laboratory. Phosphate and nitrate pollution were also found to be damaging to water quality and its ability to sustain biodiversity.

In conclusion CVF argue that:

"In a nutshell our Cam water pollution, by our reckoning, is presently of POOR, or at best little better, MODERATE status. It is only better status than this at groundwater spring sources. This was pointed out to Cam Valley Forum first by the EA in 2018 at a CamEO meeting. One can only wonder at the powerlessness of the EA, to adequately regulate legislation, that this manifests to us for Anglian Water to put their own house in order. The database we have seen lists 37 Sewage Treatment Works (STWs) in the Cam catchment, divided between 18 ‘large’ works ( >2,000 population equivalent) and 19 ‘small’ works ( < 2,000 population equivalent); and 39 private facilities (septic tanks, etc.) that discharge to watercourses. The latter are not 8 assessed here. We have used ‘sewage works’ or STW as shorthand for what is also called a ‘waste water treatment works’ or ‘Water Recycling Centres’ (WRC), Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW), or Plants (WwTP). We know that projected improvements are underway but our results question Anglian Waters priorities for a new large urban STW when that existing at Milton is currently still below capacity, whilst so many others are either clearly completely overloaded, or are fast approaching overload as yet more housing developments add to the burden." (The report can be found here.)

Meanwhile, Save Honey Hill have launched a fighting fund to challenge the destruction of greenbelt land on the edge of Cambridge by the relocation of the well functioning Milton Waste Water Treatment Plant.