Report No FR0439

PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF AESTHETIC POLLUTION

FR0439

MARCH 1994

SUMMARY

I BENEFITS

The National Rivers Authority and the Water Utilities have a better understanding of how the presence of aesthetic pollution in the water environment affects the public perception of water quality.

II OBJECTIVE

To ascertain the publics attitude towards aesthetic pollution, and in particular, the effect that the presence of gross solids derived from urban drainage systems has on their perception of water quality.

III REASONS

The National Rivers Authority is developing a series of Statutory Water Quality Objectives and a new General Water Quality classification scheme which, for the first time, is to include a consideration of the impact of aesthetic pollution. It is important that the NRA is aware of how the public perceive aesthetic pollution, to assist in the development of the new standards.

IV RESUME

Previous work on public perception studies of water quality is discussed, and types of aesthetic pollution are introduced and the aims of the work presented.

The background to the choice of methods used in the study is explained and the choice of sites, questionnaire design, pilot survey and analytical methods are described before the results of the on-site and laboratory surveys are presented.

Finally, the conclusions from the study are listed, and recommendations for further work made.

The questionnaires and photographs used in the surveys are included in the appendices.

V CONCLUSIONS

VI RECOMMENDATIONS

Copies of the report are available from FWR, price 35.00, less 20% to FWR Members.