Report No DWI0631

Apr 1989


A survey of river and estuarine waters in the U.K., was performed to assess the levels of some potentially dangerous substances. The limits of detection required were low and were broadly in line with the "Red List", The survey covered selected aromatic hydrocarbon and chlorinated solvents, organochlorine pesticides, organophosphorus pesticides, metals, and a small group of halogenated pollutants, In general, the levels of pesticides were low, Of the organo-chlorine and organo-phosphorus analysed only lindane ( HCH) occurred with any regularity, The volatile solvents, particularly benzene and toluene and the chlorinated solvents chloroform and carbon tetrachloride, were detected frequently, sometimes at high levels compared to the detection limit of 0.1 µg/l, Chlorinated pollutants, 3-chlorotoluene, chloroprene, dichlorprop and 2-cloroethanol did not appear to pose any problems. The levels of inorganic tin were variable and sometimes high and arsenic shewed sporadically, high levels. Vanadium occurred above the detection limit in some samples with one or two high values.

The results of the analyses are presented in the tables together with the flow data provided by the Water Undertakings. A key to the sites is available separately.

Copies of this report may be available as an Acrobat pdf download under the 'Find Completed Research' heading on the DWI website.