Wessex

Streamclean team

In 1992 a partnership was formed between Wessex Water, Bristol City Council and the Environment Agency. The aim of streamclean was to reduce pollution to the watercourses in Bristol. The partnership proved so successful that in 2002 the partnership launched a Streamclean Team. The dedicated team of four across the Wessex Water region able to trace the cause and reduce the risk of pollution from water company assets.

Larry Spiers, Streamclean co-ordinator explained “We carry out routine and reactive investigations of public surface water outfalls to reduce the risk of pollution to watercourses and bathing waters from misconnected domestic and commercial drainage. "Whilst misconnections aren’t seasonal, during cold spells we often see an increase in oil.  Oil pollution normally leads back to heating oil tanks that have just been filled and spills or overflows can find their way into the drains. This may be caused by the lack of maintenance but on some occasions the oil has been deliberately disposed of into the drains.

When a misconnection is discovered the team contacts the home owner and explains the findings to them. The team leaves a survey form and a letter asking them for a correction to be made within 30 days or, if the misconnection is slightly trickier to correct, this time may be extended. In 99% of cases the homeowner rectifies the plumbing. However, when the plumbing is not rectified the team can notify the local environmental health office or Environment Agency to enforce action.