River Weaver swans

Reducing Pollution Risks in Cheshire’s Waterways

The Cheshire Water Risk Reviews Project was delivered by Groundwork’s Sustainable Business Services team in partnership with the Environment Agency, United Utilities and the private sector.

Reducing pollution risks

The aim of the project was to deliver a site based water pollution risk review to identify and pro-actively tackle route causes of disperse industrial pollution from premises in the Weaver Gowy Catchment.

The project was delivered through a five stage process:

  1. Scoping and assessment of pollution hotspot locations along the catchment
  2. Identification of high risk companies within the hot spot locations to deliver initial water pollution risk reviews to 16-20 companies
  3. Engagement of companies to encourage businesses to receive a confidential and funded Water Risk Reviews
  4. Delivery of Water Risk Reviews and Follow Up work
  5. Project Reporting Reporting to the Environment Agency, promotion of the business to stakeholders, businesses and the local community.

Pollution hot spots

The programme included a 12 week window of rapid business engagement across the two industrial estates which had been identified as pollution hot spots and had each been subject to previous pollution incidents, which had resulted in industrial pollution entering controlled water bodies.

At the two hot spot locations, based in Winsford and Sandbach, there were 45 potential legal non-compliances, 69 pollution risks and made 111 pollution prevention recommendations to participating companies. Through follow up work 25 improvements were implemented by businesses in a 4-6 week window following their audits, and three companies accessed additional on site support through receiving pollution prevention training for 16 members of staff.

Water quality improvements

The project was able to capture evidence for at least 1km of protected river water quality from follow up work delivered, with actions of a more substantive nature in the pipeline by the engaged businesses .