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  • Team helps clean up the Dippy

    A specialist team is helping to protect the Dippy, the valley between Culver Hill and Adderwell in Frome, by tracing sources of watercourse pollution.


    Operation Streamclean is dedicated to investigating drainage misconnections and the misuse of surface water drainage to reduce pollution in streams and rivers across the region.

    Equipped with CCTV, dye testing and sampling equipment, the team proactively investigate, trace and prove the source of pollutions to watercourses.

    One of their recent surveys discovered that dirty water from eight sinks, three toilets, three washing machines and one shower from residential and commercial properties was discharging into the watercourse due to the pipes being misconnected to the surface water drain.

    Dirty water going down the wrong drain from car wash valets was also adding to the problem.

    Streamclean co-ordinator Larry Spiers explained that misconnections are the most common cause of pollution in urban watercourses.

    He said: "Problems occur when household appliances such as washing machines have been misconnected to the surface water system, which leads to foul water being discharged into streams without being treated.

    "This damages the environment and could be a potential health hazard."

    Properties typically have two separate drainage systems - a foul sewer system, which collects water from appliances and takes it to the local sewage treatment works, and the surface water drainage system which collects rainwater and discharges it into local streams.

    "It is the responsibility of home owners to ensure the correct drains are used to take wastewater away from their property," Larry explained.

    "We're more than happy to provide advice on what needs to be done to protect the environment."

    As part of the same investigation, the team also traced heating oil to a tank that was leaking into the ground and subsequently into a sewer that discharges into the Dippy.

    Most residents were unaware of the misconnections and have since made changes within their property following our advice.

    More information about misconnections can be found here

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