Sediment samples sent in by people across England have helped scientists learn more about freshwater metal contamination.
The OPAL metals survey, which ran alongside the national water survey over the last three years, asked people to send in small mud samples from their local ponds and lakes for analysis by the OPAL Water Centre at University College London.
Your results have shown that in many ponds there are considerable amounts of metals in the sediments which could affect organisms that live in the water.
The damaging effects of these metals would mostly be seen at the top of the food chain, in fish such as pike and fish-eating birds such as ospreys, because metals build up as they pass through the food chain – a process called bioaccumulation.
A full analysis of all the results will be published at a later date. But you can get a preview of the results now and learn more about metal contamination in your area using our interactive maps.
The OPAL Water Centre also recently published results of a four-year water monitoring study they ran alongside the metals and water surveys.
Image by Ennor on Flickr. Some rights reserved.