Metro Mayor Dan Norris was shown early data from a wastewater treatment project in South Gloucestershire to see how wetlands can help clean the West of England’s rivers.
The Metro Mayor visited a biodiversity-rich wetland constructed by Wessex Water at Cromhall Sewage Treatment Works.
The Cromall wetland project treats wastewater released into the nearby Tortworth Brook by removing phosphorus and other sediments. Built over 12 months, it offers thousands of native wetland plants to numerous species of wildlife. Its first year of operation saw the arrival of the European Snipe, Linnet, Skylark and Barn Swallow – all UK Red and Amber list bird species.
Mr Norris met Wessex Water Director of Environmental Solutions Ruth Barden to learn how wetlands, like the one at Cromhall, represent serious water treatment solutions. He was briefed on how a monitoring programme from University of Bristol researchers has found data demonstrating the environmental value of wetlands, with early indications suggesting a 60% reduction in nitrogen levels and sizeable reduction in microplastics on the site.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris: “The heath of our rivers matter. Like many others I was horrified about how much sewage is being pumped into our beautiful waterways. I am interested to learn about how wetlands are one of the best nature-based solutions for the climate challenges that we face. I am delighted to see such diverse habitats and wildlife that are so precious to the West of England right on our doorstep”.
While Cromhall is packed with wildlife, more than 90 per cent of this country’s natural wetlands have been lost, with serious environmental consequences.