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River Tame: EU Law

Volume 502: debated on Tuesday 8 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to ensure the Tame River catchment meets the requirements of the EC Water Directive. (302895)

The consultation on the Humber River Basin Management Plan, which covers the River Tame catchment, ran from 22 December 2008 to 22 June 2009. The responses were used to further develop the plan which was sent to Ministers for approval on 22 September 2009.

There are a number of pressures on the Tame catchment, such as physical modifications due to urbanisation, flood protection, point source discharges from sewage works and diffuse run-off from urban areas.

Some of the key actions that will be implemented in the River Tame, subject to the River Basin Management Plan being approved, include:

Improvement to the quality of the final effluent from sewage treatment works, to reduce levels of nutrients in the catchment, including phosphorus via the Asset Management programme.

Targeted pollution prevention campaigns around industrial areas throughout the catchment.

Targeted discussions with local authorities on their contribution to the required actions.

Investigations into sources of poor water quality in water bodies and the impact of any abstractions within the catchment. Projects include “It's a Washout”—a study on identifying and tackling areas of urban diffuse run-off in the Upper Tame catchment.

Tackling diffuse pollution across the catchment with the use of projects involving local communities, local authorities and water companies.

Initiatives include the Washwood Heath Brook improvement project and the Thimble Mill Brook improvement project.

Tackling historic industrial pollution issues, for example, the leaching of heavy metals from contaminated land to the Rough Brook and also at Bentley Mill Way.

Projects for the improvement of fish populations within the River Tame catchment include creating refuges to shelter fish from pollution and flooding and improving the river—habitat, for example, by re-profiling projects at Tamworth and Croxall.

Feasibility reports for fish passes to allow fish to migrate to spawning habitats and re-colonise the river.

River restoration projects along the Tame and its tributaries, including channel braiding, gavel introduction, tree planting, floodplain habitat creation and reconnecting the river to its floodplain.

The first set of River Basin Management Plans for the period 2009-15 are due to be published on 22 December 2009.