Lion's Head Spring
First of all, we would like to give a massive thank you to everyone that contributed to our test for the Lion’s Head Spring.
We have received the test results and, according to the UK Drinking Water Standards, the Lion’s Head Spring does not pass the criteria. This is due to the presence of bacteria associated with faecal contamination - specifically E. coli and Enterocci. These bacteria are found in our gut, as well as the guts of other warm-blooded creatures and some strains are considered harmless. Yet, they are used as an indicator for the presence of other harmful bacteria. In the UK, the regulations state that there must be 0 traces of such bacteria for a water source to be deemed potable (i.e. safe to drink).
This news comes with sadness, for we dream of a world where all our rivers and springs are drinkable. However, the good news is that Plawhatch test the spring on their land on a regular basis and it is considered safe to drink. If you decide to continue drinking the water from the Lion’s Head Spring regardless of the results, please ensure that you use either:
- The boiling method. It is recommended to boil the water for at least 1 minute to kill off E. coli and Enterocci.
- Reverse osmosis. Filters that operate via reverse osmosis can kill off potentially harmful bacteria e.g. E. coli.
- It is difficult to pinpoint the exact source of contamination: it could be due to agricultural run-off, local wildlife, or sewage pollution. However, the presence of E. coli and other harmful bacteria is characteristic of many of our waterways and, unfortunately, it is not just because of a little bit of fox poo. Our water companies are dumping raw sewage into our rivers on an almost routine basis. 400,000 times last year to be exact. Though the recent Environment Bill has introduced measures to prevent sewage pollution, more needs to be done.
What you can do:
- Make sure that you put any grease/cooking oil into the bin, not the sink (or toilet). Pouring grease down the drain results in something called a ‘fatberg,’ which blocks sewers and causes raw sewage to be dumped into rivers.
- Only flush the ‘three P’s’ down the toilet - paper, pee and poo. Anything else that is flushed down the toilet causes blockages and further sewage spills.
- Choose eco-friendly products. The manmade chemicals found in common cleaning products and toiletries are toxic to aquatic life - check out the label on a Fairy liquid bottle and you will see for yourself. Luckily there are alternative brands that put rivers and the earth first. Check out our list of trusted brands here or check out our blog that shows you how to make them yourself here
- Empower our work. Friends of the River Medway are committed to making the River Medway - and all rivers - a healthy and thriving ecosystem through tackling pollution from the source. Please donate to help us continue our vital work.