Wherever toilets, baths, sinks and domestic appliances (such as washing machines or dishwashers) are inadvertently connected to a surface water drain rather than to a foul drain the polluted water is likely to end up in a local river.  Such ‘misconnections’ are a significant problem in the Crane river system, reducing water quality and degrading habitat in some places.  CVP is looking to raise public awareness of the issue and to encourage householders to check the plumbing arrangements at their properties.   

 We’re asking residents in the Crane Valley to ensure that all waste outlets feed into the ‘soil pipe’ system (which connects to the local foul sewer) and do not instead discharge into any downpipes and gullies that normally take rainwater from the roof or hardstanding areas.  If you have recently had some buidling alterations or have had an extension built it is particularly important to check that the change in domestic arrangements hasn’t resulted in a misconnection.

If you are a homeowner and find something at your dwelling is misconnected, please take action as soon as possible to rectify the problem. If you are a tenant, please inform your landlord.  The national ‘ConnectRight’ campaign is a useful source of information and guidance on misconnections – please click the button below:        

The public can also help us to tackle the misconnection problem by reporting any signs of sewage pollution. If you are walking by your local river and see (or smell) sewage leaking from riverside drainage outlets (‘outfalls’) or notice grey/slimy deposits on the riverbed, please contact Thames Water as soon as possible so that they can dispatch a team to search for a misconnection (or a blockage in a local foul sewer). The video below shows raw sewage contamination in a stream:                 

            To report a pollution, please call 0800 316 9800 or click on the button below:                

To help us determine where misconnections are occuring in the Crane Valley, the Citizen Crane project undertakes ‘Outfall Safaris’  periodically. These are surveys in which volunteer Citizen Scientists walk along river banks checking and logging the condition of outfalls. In reaches where it is not possible to access the riverbank, staff from Zoological Society of London (ZSL) carry out in-stream surveys. The adjacent video shows an in-stream survey. The collected data is supplied to Thames Water to help them target subsequent pollution investigations.  

If you would like to participate in a future bankside survey work and/or participate in Citizen Crane’s routine riverfly montoring activity (which assesses water quality by looking at indicator invertebrate species in kick samples taken from the river), please click on the button below:          

Watch this Outfall Safari in-river survey video:

For all the latest news on work to protect and enhance the rivers and open spaces of the Crane Valley, including any updates on our efforts to tackle the misconnetions problem, sign-up for CVP’s free newsletter using the button below:          

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