An award-winning scheme launched by Northumbrian Water to help give water pollution the boot is set to grow across the North East region.
The initiative involves volunteer Water Rangers walking, weekly or fortnightly, along local public access routes next to streams, becks, burns and bathing waters which are prone to pollution. After completing their walk, Water Rangers then report on the condition of the watercourse so that any potential pollution can be dealt with quickly.
Dog walkers, ramblers, runners, cyclists or anyone who just loves the outdoors and cares about the environment are encouraged to volunteer and sign up to be a Water Ranger.
The scheme originally started in 2014 with 32 routes but has now increased to 55 routes, ranging from 210 metres to 3.6 kilometres long. The areas with new routes are; Cramlington, Ponteland, Whitley Bay, North Shields, Wallsend, Jesmond, Haltwhistle, Haydon Bridge, Allendale, Gateshead, Washington, Chester-le-Street, Hetton-le-Hole, Sunderland, Spennymoor, Greatham, Middlesbrough, Guisborough and Darlington.
Water Ranger, Peter Stone said: "I am extremely proud to be a part of the Water Rangers Scheme and feel privileged to have been a part of the scheme from the start, assisting Northumbrian Water to ensure the environment, rivers and watercourses across the region are protected by reporting any potential issues.
“Northumbrian Water act promptly when dealing with pollution incidents and when the issue is not their responsibility, will notify the appropriate authorities whose responsibility it is. The Water Rangers scheme is very proactive and it is fantastic to see Northumbrian Water expanding and developing the scheme with new routes and additional Water Rangers. I would encourage anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer not to hesitate to join the scheme with like-minded people who are helping to protect the environment for future generations to enjoy."
Volunteer Water Rangers receive thorough training on environmental issues and what to look out for when monitoring watercourses. They are offered additional volunteering opportunities to support local community projects and work alongside key partnership groups. An annual payment and other thank you incentives, including an invitation to an annual celebration event, are also available for volunteers.
Northumbrian Water’s Wastewater Director, Richard Warneford, said: “The Water Rangers initiative has been hugely successful and has helped us to spot and deal with potential threats to the environment at the earliest possible opportunity on a number of occasions. In addition, it has helped us to raise awareness of our sewer pipes, outfalls and other equipment amongst the public. This is a great opportunity to expand the scheme to work with local people to protect more of our region’s watercourses through this award-winning project.”
For more information about the Water Rangers scheme and to apply to be a volunteer please visit > https://www.nwl.co.uk/your-home/environment/getting-involved.aspx or alternatively e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0191 301 6308.
Everyone can do their bit to keep watercourses and bathing waters in our region healthy and clean by only flushing toilet paper, pee and poo down the loo and by making sure that the drains that serve homes and businesses are connected to the correct sewer.
Northumbrian Water Limited supplies 2.7 million customer in the North East with both water and sewerage services, trading as Northumbrian Water, and 1.8 million customers in the South East with water services, trading as Essex & Suffolk Water.
In the most recent survey by the Consumer Council for Water, Northumbrian Water was named the UK’s most trusted water company by its customers. 2016 also saw Northumbrian Water named the world’s most ethical water company for the sixth successive year.