Communities and individuals can protect and enjoy the river in a variety of ways.
In this section:
- Enjoy the wildlife
- Reduce pollution
- Save Water
- Maintain your Septic Tank
- Stop the Spread of Invasive Species
Enjoy the wildlife
Take a walk along the river or a piece of public open space where access is allowed.
Only allow rain down the drain. Be careful what you put down the sink or what washes off to the local sewage pipe. Avoid allowing fats or oils to go down the sink as they cause blockages in the sewer system. It only takes a few non-flushable items down the toilet (like cotton bud sticks, wetwipes, and sanitary products) to clog them up, creating messy and expensive problems. Follow the 3 Ps. Only Paper, Pee and Poo belong down the Loo.
Water is a precious resource which needs to be used carefully. Water is taken from rivers, lakes and aquifers for human use but this has an impact on wildlife. Reducing water consumption not only benefits the river’s habitat, fish and animals but the energy required to process water is also saved and less carbon dioxide emitted. This means by being water efficient you can save money on your bills as well as helping the environment.
Waste water ends up in the river environment, whether your home is connected to the mains network or a septic tank. Any waste water gets mixed with phosphate heavy human waste and household product waste that goes into the environment, which can disturb the nutrient balance of the aquatic ecosystems they are pumped back into.
Learn more about saving water, and how to get your hands on free water saving devices, from Severn Trent Water and South Staffs Water.
- Join a Community Group
Maintain your Septic Tank
A number of households along the River Mease do not have mains drainage and so rely on septic tanks.
If they are not maintained properly, septic tanks can have a substantial impact on water quality. This is because phosphorus-rich human waste and phosphate based detergents make the effluent discharge from septic tanks nutrient rich, which then seeps through the soakaway to surface waters and aquifers.
High levels of phosphorous in a river increases nutrient levels which damage biodiversity.
Concerns include increased plant growth and algae that could choke river channels, reducing habitat and breeding for important fish species, and changing the species composition of the river.
Stop the Spread of Invasive Species
Invasive non-native species are species that are not found naturally in the UK and cause economic and/or environmental damage. It has been estimated that invasive species cost the UK £2 billion every year to control. In addition, they cause damage to sensitive ecosystems and rare species and are one of the biggest threats to biodiversity worldwide.
There are legal implications to allowing the spread of invasive species so it is important to know if you have any in your garden, or if you come into contact with any while you are out and about.
The most common invasive species are:
- Japanese Knotweed
- Giant Hogweed
- Himalayan Balsam
- Rhododendron ponticum
- New Zealand Pigmyweed
For more information on invasive species please visit the non-native species secretariat website where you can find species ID sheets, information about controlling the spread, and how to report non-native species. http://www.nonnativespecies.org/home/index.cfm