This groundbreaking citizen science project has been collecting monthly information on the health of the River Crane and Yeading Brook since 2014. Every month volunteers record the types and numbers of key invertebrates at specific locations, under a national programme called the Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (RMI). The mix of invertebrates found and the number present provides a useful indication of water quality. The project has also been routinely sampling the watercourses for phosphate and ammonium.
Some homes in the catchment have misconnected plumbing, meaning that water from washing machines, showers or even toilets can flow into the river system. Also, there are places in the sewerage system where foul water sometimes overflows into pipes that should only be conveying rainwater to the local watercourse. The monitoring work of Citizen Crane can help to pinpoint places where such problems are occurring and target remedial action. In 2016 and again in 2021, Citizen Crane undertook ‘Outfall Safari’ surveys, spotting and recording outfalls from the riverbank or, where this was not possible, from within the river channel. Again, this work helps in the fight against misconnections and other polluting discharges.
Watch this riverfly monitoring video:
Watch this Outfall Safari in-river survey video: