Water pollution: How clean are the UK's rivers and lakes?

Water pollution: How clean are the UK's rivers and lakes?

From BBC

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England’s rivers are contaminated by a “chemical cocktail” of sewage, agriculture and road pollution, according to MPs.

Microplastics, slurry, car tyre particles, oils and wet wipes are all part of the problem, they said.

No English river free of pollution, MPs warn

Why do we need to protect our water?

High quality water is key both to our survival and that of the environment.

Each person in the UK uses around 140 litres of water a day for washing, drinking and cooking.

The water we use in our homes is safe, but increased pollution means more intensive treatment is required, which raises household bills.

Contamination also threatens water sources crucial for the survival of wildlife, the natural environment and the food system.

According to the Wildlife Trusts, rising pollution levels place 10% of freshwater and wetland species at risk of extinction. In Wales and England, 38% of fish health checks are failed due to disease caused by pollution.

These species are vital to:

reduce the impact of floodingprovide income for communities: the UK’s freshwater fisheries provide £1.7 billion to the economysupport food and agricultural services

Access to clean water sources can also provide an opportunity for outdoor exercise.

Where does pollution come from?

The main causes are:

excessive use of fertiliser and pesticides in agriculture – which is responsible for 40% of water pollution in Englanduntreated sewage released by water companies – responsible for 35%”run-off” from roads and towns which contains pollutants such as oil – responsible

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