Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
Save water to help protect vital river
Buy this photo » Charlotte Hitchmough, the director of Action For the River Kennet pictured by the river in Marlborough
PEOPLE in Swindon are being urged to make small changes to save water and protect the River Kennet.
The 17km chalk stream has its source in Silbury Hill and makes its way through Wiltshire before joining the River Thames. It nourishes a precious ecosystem as well as carrying cool, clean water filtered from underground.
Charlotte Hitchmough, director of Action for the River Kennet, which campaigns to keep the river healthy, is keen to promote the river and encourage people to be careful with what they use.
She said: “The River Kennet is a chalk stream and there aren’t a lot of chalk streams around.
“The water coming into chalk streams is filtered from underground, making it very clean and cool. It’s also home to a lot of wildlife, like brown trout, dragonflies, mayflies and lots of other insects and animals and plants, and they all need lots of water in the river to keep it healthy.”
In July this year a pesticide dumped into the river caused 15km of damage along the river, with the pollution not only affecting the animal life but having the potential to kill humans too.
Charlotte said: “The Environ-ment Agency came out and they found out that the pollution was caused by about a cup full of chlorpyrifos, which is used in agriculture but can be bought online by anyone on Amazon.
“Volunteers visit several sites on a regular basis and we knew that something had occurred when we took a reading. Normally the score we’d expect to get at this time of year is 15, but at this time it scored two, so we knew that something was seriously wrong.”
Swindon householders are two-thirds of the way to saving one million litres of water a day by 2014 after the Adver’s award-winning first of its kind Save Water Swindon campaign kickstarted in 2010.
Water saving devices installed by utility giant Thames Water have helped, with Swindon and Marlborough at present the only towns where it offers visits from water-saving plumbers to install the latest technology, such as shower heads, tap inserts, and toilet cistern devices.
Charlotte said: “There are so many little things you can do to save water. Make sure you turn the tap off; put a jug of water in the fridge to keep it cool rather than running the tap; use dirty bath water in the toilet.”
The campaign won the 2012 Environment Agency’s Chair-man’s Award at the UK Water Efficiency Awards after it succeeded in cutting Swindon’s daily water use by 560,000 litres.
n For more on saving water go to thameswater.co.uk/swindon or call 0800 358 6665.
Comments are closed on this article.