Page last updated at 14:27 GMT, Saturday, 29 May 2010 15:27 UK

Thames boaters face Environment Agency pollution drive

River Thames
Fourteen locks along the River Thames will be targeted

Boaters using the River Thames in Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire are being targeted in a bid to tackle pollution.

The Environment Agency says pollutants, such as oil leaks and the discharge of phosphate-based cleaning products, harm wildlife and water quality.

Staff will be stationed at 14 locks to hand out pollution packs, including phosphate-free detergent.

They will also hand out a quiz and tips on ways to prevent pollution.

The pollution packs also contain "bilge socks", which are placed in a boat engine to soak up any possible oil present in boat waste water.

Drinking water

Stephanie Ryall, a senior environment officer at the Environment Agency, said: "The Thames is a beautiful river and boat users are in a unique position to enjoy its many pleasures.

"The river is also a haven for wildlife and is an important source of drinking water which is pumped from the river at a number of locations for treatment and then into public supply."

She said every year there were a number of small pollution incidents that had led water companies to stopping taking water from the river.

"We rely on boaters to be our eyes and ears on the river and to help us protect our waterways, so I hope this initiative will prove helpful and informative."

The locks being targeted are: Radcot, Eynsham, Osney, Benson, Mapledurham, Sonning, Hambleden, Cookham, Boulters, Boveney, Old Windsor, Penton Hook, Sunbury and Teddington.

Print Sponsor

River pollution 'caused illness'
16 Mar 10 |  London

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific