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  • in reply to: Citizen science #160

    This is from a contact in Welsh Waters as a response to a specific enquiry about using their community funding  for citizen science…

    My comment about unsuccessful applications was in reference to a different biodiversity programme I suggested for CLEAN.

    In terms of Community/Cit Sci Fund – I’m not aware of any application for sampling equipment to either fund be successful. That’s not saying it wouldn’t be, but I’m just not aware of any. It’s historically not been something we support (for multiple reasons) and equally I believe NRW have been of a similar stance.

    As you may have read, the Citizen Science programme requires support from an eNGO, Uni, consultancy etc, so it may be an idea to discuss the use/benefit/limitations of sampling equipment with them.

    I hope that helps.

    in reply to: Political Pressure #145

    There is now a template for a letter/email to send to the Senedd – see https://www.teifi.one/actions#Action-3-Write-to-WG-Senedd

    in reply to: Recycling Urine #142

    Gwenda is raising awareness (of phosphate loss into the Teifi) and money selling nuts, grown in her garden, in the local market.

    And the nuts are delicious…. 10 large and five small in each pack

    Look out for these collection boxes:

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by NDCrisp.
    in reply to: Recycling Urine #141

    Check out the video here…


    At 5:47 Gwenda talks about the Pisho project

    in reply to: Recycling Urine #140

    Join the conversation about reclaiming human urine as a sustainable fertilizer!

    Nov. 7-9, 2023

    The Rich Earth Institute’s annual Summit is a global gathering for advancing the field of urine nutrient reclamation. The Summit brings together researchers, practitioners, policy makers, industry leaders, students, and enthusiasts, catalyzing new collaborations and partnerships as we continue to grow the body of knowledge about this innovative practice.
    This 3-day event will feature presentations on the technology, regulation, design, culture, and art of urine reclamation as well as opportunities for networking and collaboration. Recordings will be available after the event.

    in reply to: Engagement with the Community #138

    This group has created a leaflet to distribute…

    Save the Teifi leaflet personal

    See a PDF version here… https://www.teifi.one/onewebmedia/Leaflet2.pdf

    in reply to: Recycling Urine #137

    The Project for Innovative Sustainable Human Waste Optimization

    has a logo:

    Pisho Logo

    and a leaflet, which you can see on this link:


    in reply to: Fundraising #129

    Good news – we are through to the next stage: which is the full application for the Esmee funding!

    We have 3 months to get a full application in – then it will be assessed. Assessment can take up to 3 months.

    Esmee raised the following questions. Any thoughts on these would be greatly appreciated. (The second question is technically more for WWRT as the lead for this project, but any thoughts would be appreciated):

    1. We are also interested in hearing more about your approach to co-creating a “people plan” for the Teifi, including with the diverse communities in a place, particularly those who experience discrimination or face barriers to accessing nature.
    2. We would also like to know how you will approach safeguarding, including how you will clarify responsibilities of your partners, given that community engagement will be done by them.
    in reply to: Fundraising #128

    WWRT conversation with Esmee went well, they said they could see the value in both elements of the project and the driving issues behind their need.

    A few things that came up which they said should be included/emphasised for the full application if we get to the next stage:

    • Emphasise the strength of partner skills/experience in engaging with disadvantaged communities
    • Explain how the above will be achieved – (e.g. offering to cover attendees transport costs, providing food and children’s activities to make attendance a benefit to families). But also can draw on the partnership strengths to enhance as this and this was a key reason for a joint bid.
    • Describe how the citizen science surveys will lead to future funding
    • Describe how community voices and the Peoples Plan for the Teifi are going to feed into citizen science and the other way round.
    • Ensure that there are a diverse range of  community voices in the Peoples Plan for the Teifi catchment.
    in reply to: Teifi Walk #127

    Save the Teifi Walk Poster Update 30Jun2023

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by NDCrisp.
    in reply to: Teifi Walk #113

    The aim is for people to walk from Llechryd Cricket Club to Poppit along riverside paths and  roads, across footpaths and through the Wildlife Centre, supported by marshals with water stops and snacks along the way – gathering at 10.30 and setting off at 11. No one will be expected to walk the whole way, although many people might, and we will have a gathering of some sort at the start at Llechryd, and also at the end on Poppit…more info soon! We have set up a linked crowd funder page for Save the Teifi so people can support that if they want to (see below).

    The Crowd Funder Donation page is now live…. https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/save-the-teifi-1

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by NDCrisp.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 4 weeks ago by NDCrisp.
    in reply to: Fundraising #112

    I have some good news to pass on regarding Save the Teifi and the Expression of interest for Esmee funding of the Collaborative… We heard this week that we have been invited by Esmee to have a conversation about taking this project to the next stage. This is largely about checking the suitability of West Wales Rivers Trust to manage the project – so will be in WWRT hands. Fingers crossed.

    in reply to: Fundraising #97

    A note that the Esmee funding  is development funding only, so they are unlikely to fund an extensive programme of chemical monitoring. WWRT position with chemical analysis citizen science is that there is a wealth of data that either currently exists (in WFD & SAGIS) or is planned (full CSO monitoring) and is trusted by NRW/DCWW, and they are reluctant to spend funds on monitoring that isn’t supported by these organisations – both because these funds could potentially be better spent on addressing the issues and also because they do not want to waste community time, efforts and interest in data that is not going to be used (as they have previous experience of).

    WWRT current preference is for visual monitoring of outfalls (such as under the Outfall Safari model) – both sewerage and other surface water drains. Not only are photos and videos more effective in highlighting the issue from a community level, but it also provides them with important data on when outfalls are releasing when they shouldn’t be, which can be compare to DCWW records. There is some value in chemical water quality monitoring with citizen science – but they think this is limited to when funding is available for a specific failing river catchment, to help  to prioritise where interventions are most needed (i.e. agricultural pollution or urban point source inputs).

    There is clearly a national interest for citizen science and a great community for this with Save the Teifi. WWRT aim is to bid for a project along the lines of developing a model for effective citizen science that targets efforts for the greatest benefits, including take-up by government bodies and water companies.

    in reply to: C.S.Os (Combined Sewer Outflows) #76

    More details from Piers….


    We were thrown off the scent, so to speak, because the terrible pong fitted with our impression of what bad sewage should smell like. And it seemed to be coming from the river. The smell of muck spread on a field is, in our minds, a very different , more animal smell. We were wrong. The smell is almost definitely coming from badly managed farm slurry.

    I’ve been looking into it and it is almost certainly Hydrogen Sulphide, H2S, the classic rotten eggs smell. It occurs at low levels in cattle manure but certain bedding materials and feed will increase the level. Someone asked about methane, but that is an odourless gas.

    Because Hydrogen Sulphide is heavier than air it will sink from the farms and into the valleys onto the rivers. The smell then seems to be coming from the river. This has caused some confusion and explains why Dwr Cymru were unable to find any of their assets malfunctioning.

    There are a number of issues that can cause elevated Hydrogen Sulphide levels in slurry.  Possibly the main one is poor mixing/stirring practise in the slurry tanks. You can read up on this at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/news/stay-safe-when-mixing-slurry if you wish to know more.

    Also things like:

    1.     Gysum Bedding (often reclaimed from waste plasterboard). Highly absorbent and ‘drying agent’ in slurry management.

    hse.gov.uk :

    “There is clear evidence that the presence of gypsum in slurry will enhance the potential for generation of toxic H2S gas. The levels of the gas produced, even from the small, contained systems, would be toxic to anyone exposed to equivalent concentrations on a larger scale. Therefore, if gypsum residues enter slurry this could increase the risk of H2S gas accumulation in confined spaces in the close vicinity of slurry systems. It is important therefore that this is taken into account in managing risk.”

    1.     Distillers grain diet.

    Distillers grain diet:

    Cattle fed wet distiller’s grain had higher fecal and urinary sulfur excretions than control cattle not fed distiller’s grains (Spiehs and Varel, 2009). Although these authors did not measure hydrogen sulfide in their study, they conclude that it is likely that increased hydrogen sulfide would result from cattle being fed wet distiller’s grain.

    There may be other elements in the management of cattle which are causing these H2S releases, but without talking to the farmers, we won’t be able to find out. Insufficient

    Hydrogen Sulphide is an extremely toxic gas, and even at low levels can cause respiratory difficulties and skin reactions.

    “At low concentrations (less than 1 ppm), hydrogen sulfide is an irritant with the odor of rotten eggs. At higher concentrations, however, it deadens the sense of smell, often immediately, making detection difficult (Donham et al., 2006; Doss, Person and McLeod, 2002; Hooser et al., 2000). Abrupt exposure to amounts of greater than 500 ppm of hydrogen sulfide has killed humans; exposure to 200 ppm of hydrogen sulfide has killed swine. Extended exposure to lower amounts of hydrogen sulfide has also resulted in a range of symptoms from eye irrita- tion to respiratory illness to uncon- sciousness (Donham et al., 2006;”

    Anecdotal evidence on a recent Facebook thread about the smell, included villagers saying they could both smell and taste the Hydrogen Sulphide. This suggests the release is above safe levels.

    It would be interesting to get readings done ‘at source’. If it can be smelt throughout such a wide area, it’s possible that ‘at source’ there is a high concentration, which may well be hazardous to workers on that site.

    We might get quite low readings away from the source and be told that it is not hazardous to humans. The question then is whether a local community is willing to put with this degree of pollution in an area known for the good quality of its air.

    A bright and helpful person NRW rang me in response to my ‘incident log’ about the odour in St Dogmaels recently. She said they are aware of the situation but that anything odour based is a County Council issue and not one they are empowered to investigate. She pointed out that in order to the  the CC to act we need to get as many people as possible to log their complaint (with time and location). I will chase this up unless anyone else already has done so, or is planning to.

    As milk prices fall, the only way farmers can maintain income is to increase herds sizes and milk production so they are cramming more cattle into their winter sheds. Many cattle spend their entire lives in these sheds and are fed a cocktail of additives to maximise their yield and keep vets bills to a minimum. Managing the waste from these oversized herds with limited available agricultural land means that slurry tanks fill faster and need to be emptied more frequently. Quite a lot of farmers are pumping direct from the tanks onto the same available land. The good old days of grass fed, spillage fed cows producing a not unpleasant slurry smell are over, and instead we have shed farmed cattle producing a slurry that smells industrial.


    in reply to: Nitrates and Phosphates pollution #74

    Bear in mind that we tested the water coming out of the sewage pipe, not the river water. There is a lot of info available, and can be quite confusing:

    This is a NRW report – https://naturalresourceswales.gov.uk/about-us/news/news/tighter-phosphate-targets-change-our-view-of-the-state-of-welsh-rivers/?lang=en

    UK Government guidance recommends that rivers should not exceed annual mean phosphate concentrations of 0.1mg per litre. https://view.officeapps.live.com/op/view.aspx?src=https%3A%2F%2Fassets.publishing.service.gov.uk%2Fgovernment%2Fuploads%2Fsystem%2Fuploads%2Fattachment_data%2Ffile%2F1126652%2FPhosphorus-challenges-for-the-water-environment.odt&wdOrigin=BROWSELINK

    The UK drinking water standard requires the nitrate concentration to be less than 50 parts per million. https://thewaterprofessor.com/blogs/articles/nitrate-in-drinking-water#:~:text=The%20UK%20drinking%20water%20standard%20requires%20the%20nitrate,common%20problem%20for%20private%20water%20supplies%20%28water%20wells%29. NRW has much ino too: https://naturalresources.wales/about-us/what-we-do/water/nitrate-vulnerable-zones/?lang=en

    In the US recommendations officially state the limit for nitrates at 10 mg/L.  Nitrates in Water? Safe Levels and How to Remove it – Pick: Comfort

    Hope that helps


    • This reply was modified 10 months, 3 weeks ago by NDCrisp.
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