Water Pollution is Killing Local Wildlife

Pollution effectsThe effects of missed connections on a Birmingham Wildlife Site

Diffuse Pollution is the biggest single problem affecting the wildlife in rivers and streams across Birmingham and the Black Country. Not one waterbody in the conurbation is classified as being of 'good' Ecological Quality, six are 'poor' and four are 'Bad'. The Wildlife Trust is determined to help improve the quality of all the area's rivers and streams.

Diffuse pollution is caused by all sorts of things - such as dishwashers and drains that are mis-connected to surface drains, used engine oil poured down drains and contaminated sites of former factories. As the picture above shows the cumulative effect of what are often very small sources of pollution can be enought to completely destroy the wildlife in a small stream or river.

One of the ways the Wildlife Trust is combating diffuse pollution is through the Yellow Fish project, raising awareness among young people in the hope that they will encourage their families to check for mis-connections and to avoid contaminating drains.

Over the next year the Wildlife Trust will be consulting stakeholders to produce a Catchment Management Plan for the River Tame and its tributaries which will identify a new vision for the catchment. It will identify the key issues, such as diffuse pollution, that prevent the waterways from achieving their potential and set out an action plan to show how these issues can be addressed.

If you are aware of a river, canal or stream that is affected by diffuse pollution, please send details, and ideally a picture, to info@bbcwildlife.org.uk and we will pass teh information on to the appropriate organisation.