Lea Marshes
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Pymmes Brook   
Pymmes Brook in Enfield is a branch of the River Lea and its main purpose nowadays is taking as much polluted water to the Lea as quickly as possible.

The attached photo shows two storm water pipes that pour rainwater into the Pymmes Brook polluted with petrol, oil and chemical particles from the North Circular, at the roundabout with the A10. You can see from the staining on the wall that the rainwater is far from clean when it gets to the river.
See "A water quality analysis of the River Lea and major tributaries within the perimeter of the M25, from Waltham Abbey to Bow Locks -Thames21"

Now some people might say that it is hard to treat the petrochemical laced water that flows off our roads when it rains, as there isn't much space to put devices to trap it. Sadly it doesn't look like much effort was ever made to treat it, so it's hard to know. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try now though.

In many places, when new roads are built, they do intercept the storm water from roads and it goes through devices that trap the silt, and plants that take out the fuel deposits and break them down.

While it might be harder to build silt traps to clean the dirty water next to roads that were built years ago, there's no excuse for new roads, being built now, to be polluting rivers. The treatment devices can be built at the same time.

Every brownfield or greenfield site that is developed should have these systems.

Where a new road is being built to not have them would be a scandal.

If you see a new road being built let me know and I'll check to see if the drains lead straight to the river or through a bio-retention system first.

Theo Thomas (email theo.thomas@thames21.org.uk).


If you live or know people who live in the following boroughs - Enfield, Haringey, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Barnet, and Broxbourne please register your support for a network of natural drainage systems at the Thames Water Deephams Consultation page - http://www.deephamsconsultation.co.uk/what-we-are-doing/have-your-say/


Let the Greater London Authority's Drain London Project know that you want a comprehensive network of natural drainage systems (or SUDS) in NE London -http://www.london.gov.uk/drain-london

Finally, there is no point in Thames21 trying to do it all, everyone can play a part in this, on their own terms. If you are a part of a gardening group, have an allotment, are a park user, play golf, get in touch. If you want to green your street or use the grassy spaces around where you live to reduce sewage overflows and make your river healthy then get in touch. The creation of natural drainage systems like reedbeds, and vegetated basins needs to be done by people, locally on their own terms.

Theo Thomas (email theo.thomas@thames21.org.uk).

Pymmes Brook pollution (20/June/2013).