Shocking phosphate testing results.
I’ve been testing the Wye for phosphate pollution for two and a half years now and I thought I would never see a reading as high as the one I had today at the Canoe Launch in the Park.
I test at two locations on Club waters as part of a project run by the Wye Salmon Association, one on Weirend in order to sample downstream of the main Ross sewage treatment works and one in the park which is above the main plant but it is also downstream of sewage plants in the Hom Road/Cawdor Arch part of the Town which also discharge into the Wye in the park.
During the long dry summer the phosphate readings were zero on many occasions which is a good thing for the River Wye. Obviously without any meaningful rain for many weeks there was little pollution being washed into the River. The water cleared and the ranunculus weed made efforts start growing again and the swans again had something to eat.
However I knew from my experience that things would change when the rain came in the autumn and sure enough the phosphate I have recorded on Weirend in the last three weeks have been 13.8, 7.4 and 23.3 times the standard laid down in the legislation for our part of the River.
But nothing could have prepared me for the shock I had when I tested at the canoe launch this morning. The water in my test tube turned blue which is always a bad sign. The reading was 64.1 times higher than it should have been. I even doubted my results so did them 3 times always with the same result.
So my advice to anglers and other water sports devotees is if nothing else please ensure that you wash your hands when you have been in contact with the sparkling waters of the Wye.