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Hi-tech equipment to be installed in the River Loddon
HI-TECH pollution detectors are to be installed in the River Loddon near Old Basing.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has teamed up with the Environment Agency to monitor river flow and water pollution levels in the Old Basing area.
The £50,000 project has been billed as a vital first step in understanding how further house-building in the borough will affect the 28-mile river.
The borough council’s environment chief, Cllr Robert Donnell said: “It will help us make informed decisions as there has been a great deal of concern how development of the town affects the river. A lot of this we have not been able to answer.”
Since the borough started considering how many homes should be built, and where they should go, concerns have been raised that development could cause irreversible damage to the delicate Loddon.
The river at Basing is downstream from the Chineham Sewage Works and it is feared that if more waste is fed into the Loddon, wildlife would suffer.
According to statistics from 2007, toxic phosphate levels in the Loddon are six times higher than the EU Water Directive standard for good status.
Earlier this year, Basingstoke MP Maria Miller backed a call for residents to play their part in bringing down pollution by using phosphate free detergents.
The Environment Agency says gathering the data with ultrasonic flow gauges is the first step for future plans to clean up the Loddon.