Skip to main content

Poacher Turned Gamekeeper: Using Tampons to detect River Pollution from Misconnected Sewers


Professor David (Barney) Lerner and his colleagues in both the University of Sheffield and the Friends of Bradford's Becks have come up with a wildly practical and cheap way to solve a notoriously difficult and expensive problem.

Put Simply, you take a tampon out of its packet, dip it into the stream (or leave it in there if the pollution is suspected to be intermittent). Then take it out and shine a UV torch onto it. The Optical Brighteners used in detergents will fluoresce under the "black light" and you can begin to track down the source of the misconnection.

Full stories are covered here: The Guardian

and here: Wired

The Friends of Bradford's Becks is a great role model for other "Trout in the Town" groups - and we were delighted to have Professor Lerner speaking at our last Urban Conclave (video below).

We are also happy to play a part in the restoration of habitat on the Bradford Beck itself (see here for a recent habitat Advisory Visit report in support of JBA Consulting's designs for habitat improvement options: http://www.wildtrout.org/av/bradford-beck-%E2%80%93-shipley

Professor Lerner on Restoring the Bradford Beck as a Catchment Restoration Pilot Scheme:

Restoring Bradford Beck from Paul Gaskell on Vimeo.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

First Survey Record of Wild Trout Returning to Lyme Brook Habitat Works Site!

You may have seen the first three phases of works on the middle reaches of the Lyme Brook (shown in previous blogs Here and Here) from project works that began in 2015...

Well although the first surveys after that work found some nice coarse fish populations - there was no cold hard evidence that any trout had found the newly-improved habitat...Until now!
I received a phone call today from Matt Lawrence who is the EA's Catchment Host for the Trent Valley Catchment Partnership (with key partners Groundwork West Midlands and the Wild Trout Trust who conceived and delivered the habitat works). Matt told me that he'd had some exciting preliminary reports from a EA Midlands fisheries surveys team. Their survey on 7th September had caught several wild trout as part of their sample on the habitat works site.
These are the first modern records of trout in the brook and is also the exciting news that we have been waiting for on these first phases of work to create spawning, juvenile an…
Catching and Releasing the first Fly-Caught wild trout from a stream that was dug out of a city-centre pipe was probably the highlight of 2016 for me!

Buried in a brick tunnel under England's industrial developments of the 1800s, a section of the Porter Brook in Sheffield was brought back to the surface by a bold project co-ordinated by Sheffield City Council and involving the Wild Trout Trust, The Environment Agency and many more partners.

You can now witness the actual process of freeing the Brook from its pipe - and the creation of functioning trout-stream habitat in this short video.



Yet, the above video does not show the completed park that was a huge part of the entire project - and it does not show the planted vegetation beginning to develop in the summer of 2016. And, it does not show any fly fishing or video of a trout capture...

But the film, below, that was made by the excellent Huckleberry Films as part of the Canal & Rivers Trust "Living Waterways" awar…

A previously buried section of stream produces the first fly caught trout in >160 years

As near as I can work out from the archaeology report, this section of river - recently brought back to the surface in dramatic fashion by Sheffield City Council, the EA and the WTT partnership - was buried in a low brick tunnel somewhere around 1853 to 1868. The northern half of the site was certainly buried underground BEFORE the time the 1853 map was produced....and the rest of the brick tunnel was placed over the top of the stream before the map of 1868...

Of course, it is not easy to tell what the water quality was like in that section even BEFORE the stream was buried...and whether there were trout surviving in the stream when it was sealed underground...

What is damned sure is that you couldn't wave a fly fishing rod around in that underground tunnel once they'd built it!

This was still the case until the completion of the massive project to remove the brickwork and create an attractive "pocket park" in the city centre. You might have seen from This Previous …