Check the river – get £200 off bill


Published: Thursday 9th October 2014 by The News Editor

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A major water firm is offering up to £200 off customers’ bills if they sign up to a scheme to monitor rivers and streams for pollution.

Northumbrian Water is looking for volunteers who regularly walk along certain waterways in the North East that are known to be hot spots for sewage contamination.

The firm wants members of the public to do visual tests of the water and is offering training to become a water ranger.

It has picked 32 walks, all public access routes, next to rivers, streams and bathing water. Rangers would agree to check the water once a fortnight or every week.

The firm said details of the reward system were being finalised, but customers could receive up to £200 a year off their annual bills.

The rangers are asked to report on the water condition after the walk and raise the alarm if anything looks amiss so any pollution could be dealt with swiftly.

Keen angler Den Lilley, 71, from Newton Hall, Durham, has already signed up and will patrol a section of the Wear near the city centre.

He said: “I thoroughly enjoy birdwatching and fishing so it’s great to be able to give something back to help look after the environment which gives me so much pleasure.

“I am also chairman of Durham City Angling Club and having clean water in the River Wear is vital for our fishermen to be able to enjoy their sport and also to the club to ensure we maintain and attract new members.

“The water rangers scheme reflects the effort that Northumbrian Water is putting into being able to react and deal with pollution quickly.

“I think it is very admirable.”

Northumbrian Water wastewater director Richard Warneford said: ” We monitor our sewer network very closely by using technology and manual inspections and we are continually maintaining and upgrading the network.

“Northumbrian Water’s supply area is vast – we cover a geographical area of 9,422 square kilometres and we monitor and look after thousands of assets, including more than 29,500 kilometres of sewer pipe.

“Pollution from our assets is something we are taking very seriously and working very hard to tackle.

“The Water Rangers scheme will provide us with further information and knowledge to help us do this.”

A spokeswoman said the ranger scheme was not replacing any jobs, but was intended to boost the firm’s monitoring.

More information is available at

Published: Thursday 9th October 2014 by The News Editor

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