RIVERS AND ESTUARIES IN England and Wales are probably cleaner than they have been since before the industrial revolution, according to the latest survey by the UK’s Environment Agency (EA).

Published on the EA website, the survey demonstrates a substantial improvement in the chemical quality of rivers since 1990, with 94% of rivers (equivalent to over 38,000km) classified as of good or fair quality in 2000, compared to just under 85% in 1990. Some 96% of estuaries are of good or fair quality compared with 90% in 1990.

‘The money being invested in cleaning up our rivers are bearing fruit – the overall quality of river water has improved dramatically over the last 10 years,’ said Sir John Harman, chairman of the EA.