River water quality of the River Cherwell: an agricultural clay-dominated catchment in the upper Thames Basin, southeastern England

You are viewing information about the paper River water quality of the River Cherwell: an agricultural clay-dominated catchment in the upper Thames Basin, southeastern England.

Journal: Sci Total Environ 2005/10/29
Published: 2006
Authors: Neal, C.;Neal, M.;Hill, L.;Wickham, H.
Address: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Maclean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, OXON, OX10 8BB, UK. cn@ceh.ac.uk

The water quality of the River Cherwell and a tributary of it, the Ray, are described in terms of point and diffuse sources of pollution, for this rural area of the upper Thames Basin. Point sources of pollution dominate at the critical ecological low flow periods of high biological activity. Although the surface geology is predominantly clay, base flow is partly supplied from springs in underlying carbonate-bearing strata, which influences the water quality particularly with regards to calcium and alkalinity. The hydrogeochemistry of the river is outlined and the overall importance of urban point sources even in what would normally be considered to be rural catchments is stressed in relation to the European Unions Water Framework Directive. Issues of phosphorus stripping at sewage treatment works are also considered: such stripping on the Cherwell has reduced phosphorus concentrations by about a factor of two, but this is insufficient for the needs of the Water Framework Directive.

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