We have been working with Wessex Water to complete two invertebrate surveys on the River Avon, sampling above and below discharge points, using a Yorkshire Pattern’ airlift pump.

Benthic macroinvertebrates are an important group of organisms to study, as many are sensitive to physical and chemical changes in the watercourse. Their relative immobility means they cannot easily escape the impacts of thermal, chemical or organic pollution.

Due to the species relative immobility when compared to that of the fisheries community, species can be more directly tied to site-specific habitats, and are therefore more reflective of the health of that specific habitat location.

These organisms help us to better understand the health of our river and streams, and the processes that maintain them. This information will help inform the water authorities how the discharge is impacting the habitat and water quality within the sample areas.

The benthic macroinvertebrates are recorded to find out what species are present and in what numbers.