Every three to four years, each river in London is given an outfall survey by the Zoological Society of London to identify and seek to remedy and pollution entering the river from certain outfalls. This spring it is the turn of the Roding and we are hoping that a few volunteers will assist by participating in an ‘outfall safari’ and gathering data that will help to protect and clean up the river.
In order to help volunteers, the person behind the project at ZSL will be in Barking to give training to those who want to take part in the outfall safari. The training involves a two hour classroom session, during which everyone will learn the reason for the Outfall Safari, and how to conduct surveys in order to detect polluting outfalls as a result of misconnections (these occur when foul water pipes are incorrectly connected to the surface water system which is thought to affect approximately 3% of properties within the Greater London area and can subsequently lead to persistent, chronic pollution events throughout our rivers). This survey requires 48 hours of dry weather prior to assessing the outfalls to ensure that signs of pollution aren’t washed away. Volunteers when walk along the riverbanks (where safe to do so) and use a survey app to provide images of the outfall, details of its location and a pollution ‘score’ based on the aesthetics and impact of any pollution present. Once the survey method has been explained, we will divide up the sections of river that need to be walked between the volunteers, who will then be able to join a shared group where the volunteers can share progress and tips etc.
This represents a great way for anyone to get involved and make a big difference in cleaning up the Roding, so we hope that a few of you will be able to join us.