How Clean is Plymouth's Water?
  • Devonport Lecture Theatre, Portland Square Building, Plymouth University

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The waterways and sea around Plymouth and the South West region are one of our most important assets. 

They provide a home for rich marine life and a hub for marine leisure activities, drawing in thousands of tourists from across the country and the world. Our seas also support fishing, shipping and other maritime industries such as water sports. Water quality plays a crucial role in the success of these activities and the region in general, but how much do we know about these issues? 

This event brings together experts from academia and industry to talk about water quality in our region and answer your questions. Please join us for this free event. 

South West Water's challenges and opportunities in Plymouth Sound
- Paul McNie (Environment Manager) and Jules Florey (Operations Scientist), South West Water

This talk will look at how the behaviour of people living and working in Plymouth can impact on the water quality in the sound, comparing how present day discharge loadings compare with those from 20 years ago. It will also include an overview of regulatory responsibilities and the impact of investment in the assets that discharge into the Plymouth Sound.

Radioactivity in the English Channel and Tamar Estuary: discharges, distributions and doses
- Professor Geoff Millward, Emeritus Professor of Marine Chemistry and Deputy Technical Director of the Consolidated Radio-isotope Facility (CORiF)

After an introduction to ionising radiation arising from both natural and artificial radionuclides, the talk will focus on artificial radionuclides and a comparison will be made of discharges from various sites in the English Channel, and their distribution, using tritium (3H) as an example. The discharges of tritium and 60Co from Devonport will be discussed, together with their activity concentrations, and those of 137Cs, in water, sediments and biological tissues of the Tamar Estuary. Doses of ionising radiation from artificial radionuclides to the general public will be compared to those from natural sources.

Metals in the Tamar’s river and estuarine water – any cause for concern?
- Dr Sean Comber, Associate Professor in Environmental Chemistry, Biogeochemistry Research Centre 

This talk will present a range of research on the Tamar Valley waterways to address key questions about metal contamination in Plymouth’s aquatic environment: 

  • What is the legacy of the Tamar Valley’s mining history? 
  • How does our estuary and its tributaries compare against new environmental quality standards? 
  • What are the future plans for possible water quality improvements?

Arrival from 6pm for a 6.30pm start. 

Please register your attendance via the above link.

News release: Plymouth University Marine Institute asks 'How clean is Plymouth's water?' (9 November 2015)

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