North East

Northumbrian Water Ltd are the water and sewage providers for the north east.  The area is generally characterised by good water quality of both rivers and beaches.  However like many other places misconnections and urban drainage do affect some beaches and river stretches.

What’s going on 'Up North'?

Living Waterways is a partnership project between the Durham, Northumberland and Tees Valley Wildlife Trusts and the Environment Agency. We are working for the benefit of local communities and wildlife to:
  • create new wildlife habitats
  • reduce pollution from urban area
  • reduce the risk of flooding
We started a misconnections pilot with Northumbrian Water (NWL) to raise awareness of water quality in urban rivers within the local community.  The focus was to highlight the problems caused by misconnected wastewater and the mis-use of surface water road gullies.  We ran community events, education sessions with schools, and engaged residents in the wildlife on their nearby rivers so that they were more likely to think about what’s going down the drain.  These activities included a Yellow Fish campaign with primary schools, free community fun-days with a fundamental pollution awareness message, and a public consultation on the possibility of installing “Don’t Pollute, Drains to River” plaques beside road drains in the pilot areas.  We hoping that by the end of the pilot we can demonstrate evidence of a change in behaviour of the local community through a simple evaluation survey looking at some of our key messages including “check your house is connected right” and “only rain down the drain”.

For more information on the Living Waterways Project contact Michael Rogers, Project Coordinator on 0191 5843112 or email