Phosphate testing on Ross AC waters.

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This is what the Wye looked like this spring.

Ross AC have been involved as part of a network of testers up and down the River organised by the Wye Salmon Association and test on Ross waters have been undertaken by Trevor Hyde.

It must be still fresh in peoples mind the state the Wye was in this spring, when the water turned bright green driven by the sunny weather and it is thought phosphate pollution. This has been occurring for several years and slowly getting worse and happening more often. The phosphate comes from many upstream sources.

For the purposes of river management the Wye is administered by Natural Resources Wales and The Environment Agency act for NRW when the River enters England. The NRW recently released a report which states ”
Phosphate is naturally occurring, and is released slowly, at low levels. However, phosphates can also enter rivers from land management practices, sewerage and foul water that can contains detergents and food wastes.

In 2020 Ross Angling Club approached the legal arm of the Angling Trust to act for them against the NRW to force this Welsh Government authority to investigate and stem the increase in phosphates thought to be coming from poultry farms in the head waters of the Wye and so affecting the whole Valley.

Looking back at the Tests carried out locally in the Riverside Park at Ross on Wye by the Club over the last 6 months out of 25 tests only 3 have achieved the standard expected and written into law by the Welsh Government.

Typically results have been 4 and 5 times as high as they should be by law and the highest seen has been 10 times higher than the standard.


However it looks like late in the day the NRW are being forced to admit that the Wye is having problems with pollution including phosphate. They issued a report on the 17th December 2020 where they go some way to admitting to issues involving phosphates.

If you want an interesting read the report can be found at naturalresourceswales.gov.uk and using River Wye in the search tool. The report is entitled NRW issues new advice to safeguard the River Wye Special Area of Conservation.

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