Sewage in waterways is big news. Campaigners are rallying against the release of untreated sewage, but why are people so concerned and what are the dangers?
Sewage is dangerous to human health and the health of animals and plants; for example, sewage can encourage algal blooms that can lead to deaths amongst many species. These blooms can lead to biodiversity changes that impact how ecosystems function.
Algal blooms are encouraged as sewage introduces a rich source of nutrients. These blooms affect ecosystems by blocking out light needed by plants. When the algae and the plants affected die, they encourage bacteria. This lowers the oxygen concentration in the water and leads to the death of fish, along with other organisms and insects.
Algal blooms can not only harm many species but also encourage others, such as midges, that can tolerate lower oxygen levels. This leads to an imbalance in the ecosystem. This can be on a large scale or to smaller degrees, such as when a local ecosystem is disrupted by leaking pipes. To prevent this, it is advisable to take responsibility for your property and identify problems.
There are a range of ways to do this, such as CCTV drainage surveys Kingsbury or wherever you happen to be in the country. These surveys are offered by companies such as https://www.wilkinson-env.co.uk/drainage-services-cctv-surveys-midlands/drain-jetting/kingsbury/.
Types of algae
Some species of algae are particularly effective at taking up the nutrients provided by sewage. You can read more about toxic algae caused by pollution and their harmful effects on the BBC website.
These algae can reduce the biodiversity in water systems and pose a direct threat to health; for example, blue-green cyanobacteria blooms produce toxins that can affect fish, dogs and humans.