Hydro-Logic is now part of Hydro International.

Hydro-Logic Services Monitor Water Quality at Comber Mere SSSI

01/12/2013

Hydro-Logic Services were commissioned by Natural England and Combermere Abbey Estate to assess the wetland hydrology of the Comber Mere SSSI. The purpose of the project was to investigate the effect of the inflow and outflow structure on the condition of the SSSI, and evaluate options for the restoration, modification, or removal of these structures. The study involved various investigations to assess the condition of the Mere, including verification of previous studies which indicated that the Mere was in Unfavourable Condition in relation to water quality, mainly due to high nutrient levels contributed by the inflow streams.

A number of actions were recommended from the study, including the regulation of water levels, and an assessment of land use management. An ongoing project recommended the creation of a wetland in the area known as ‘The Stews’, which is a major contributor to the Comber Mere. Natural England commissioned a consultant to investigate and assess the opportunities to modify the inflow watercourse to the Mere, to ‘polish’ water quality, and enhance and augment existing wetland habitat. A wetland creation scheme within The Stews was then designed, with implementation planned for January 2014.

In order to evaluate the effect of the new wetland on the level of nutrients and sediments entering the Comber Mere, HLS were commissioned by Natural England to implement a water quality monitoring regime for The Stews inflow. The project commenced in November 2013, and is due to be completed in March 2014, providing data before and after the creation of the wetland. Two sampling points were selected, immediately upstream and downstream of the new wetland. Water quality analysis is being carried out on a bi-weekly basis, with tests carried out for various parameters. A turbidity monitor has also been installed at the downstream site for continuous sediment monitoring.

Rob Arden from Natural England commented: “I have been impressed by the manner in which Hydro-Logic have managed the project, working collaboratively with other organisations and distilling all the available evidence to produce clear practical recommendations”.

If you have a similar project where you need hydrological monitoring and reporting, please contact Paul Webster on 01189 331325 or pwebster@hydro-logic.co.uk.

Water Quality Monitoring at Comber Mere

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