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Water quality testing with Planet Patrol

The quality of rivers in England is the worst in Europe. Only 16% of English waters meet good ecological standards for wildlife and none achieve good chemical status. In Scotland 65.7% of waters meet the good ecological standard, and 46% in Wales. It's time to take action.

Planet Patrol are piloting water quality testing in rivers, canals, lakes and streams in the UK across 60+ location, building evidence to strengthen legislation and help restore the quality of our waterways. In late summer 2022 we'll be inviting more people across the UK to get involved. Register your interest in testing your local waterway below and we'll be in touch in late summer with the next steps.

The state of our waterways

Pollution from sewage discharges, agricultural run-off, road run-off and chemicals threaten freshwater ecosystems. Freshwater species are going extinct more rapidly than terrestrial or marine species globally. Almost one-third of freshwater biodiversity faces extinction worldwide.

Between 2013 and 2019 the number of water quality samples taken by the Environment Agency fell by 45% and the number of sampling points reduced by nearly 40%. Lack of monitoring means not all reported pollution incidents are investigated and we lack vital data about threats to our waters. We just don’t know enough about what is happening and how we can protect our freshwater habitats.

That’s why Planet Patrol started the most comprehensive water quality testing programme of its kind across the UK, inviting volunteers to help us capture important data on contaminants polluting our waterways so we have the evidence to create more accountability, improve and monitor legislation and help restore the quality of our waterways.

“The future of science isn’t in books on the shelf, but in boots on the ground”

– Professor Erinma Ochu

Want to build evidence on what is polluting our waterways?

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