When surface water from rainfall runs off into the canal system, it can carry pollutants including oils, chemicals and silt which all affect water quality.
Unlicensed outlets into the canal are also a significant issue for the environmental management of the canal network and it is vital that we monitor what is being discharged into the canal.
Checking for pollution
The volunteers are carrying out a survey of the canal, identifying the pipes and drains which discharge into the canal and noting whether there are any signs of pollution.
The volunteers are a working party from the Sutton Parish Plan Steering Group – one of several groups set up following the publication of the Parish Plan, focussing on improving the local environment through volunteers.
The data is then being mapped by the environmental team, who will then follow up any potential pollution hazards.
The information will also be used by our utilities team who manage agreements with adjacent land owners and wish to discharge surface water into the canal system, generating income for our Trust.
Safeguarding wildlife havens
Environmental scientist, Louie Ramsden said: “Our canals and waterways are havens for plants and animals and it is essential that we look after the water quality to safeguard their survival.
“Although this is not a new problem, until now we have been short of resources to tackle it. Now with the help of Sutton Parish Council volunteers we have been able to carry out this work to help us safeguard the water quality of the Macclesfield Canal.”