The New Forest has one of the most exceptional freshwater landscapes in the UK. It is home to many of our rarest freshwater plants and animals that depend on its clean waters. However, even the New Forest is still vulnerable to issues such as phosphate pollution.
Phosphate is a plant nutrient that alters plant communities, affecting the creatures that should live there, and in severe cases causing algal blooms which use up oxygen and ‘suffocate’ aquatic insects and fish. It runs into ponds, rivers and streams through a range of sources including your home. Phosphates enter your household waste water from the products we use to clean our homes and the food we eat. Poorly preforming septic tanks and small sewerage works can also leech phosphate rich raw sewerage into the environment.
A clean home shouldn’t mean a dirty river and there are lots of little steps we can all take to reduce phosphate pollution. To help raise of awareness the New Forest Catchment Partnership has produced two leaflets summarising the issue of caused by phosphate pollution, and how best to maintain septic tanks and small sewage treatment works to prevent pollution.