Stopping the spread of invasive species

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Walthamstow Reservoir

Thames Water has been busy raising awareness this week on the impact of invasive species and how to prevent them from spreading.   

Invasive Species Week, which finishes today, brings together a range of organisations to raise the profile of an issue which is costing the UK approximately £1.7 billion a year to tackle.

Only last week, thousands of Zebra mussels were found clinging to the inside of a connection tunnel at the company’s Walthamstow Reservoir, north-east London, by operational staff carrying out routine inspections (pictured).

Michael Chipps, Thames Water’s innovation water process manager, said: “Invasive species cause a number of difficulties for us as a business. They can block our assets and even alter water quality.

“That’s why we’ve taken to social media this week to help educate the public. The advice is simple: Check, Clean and Dry”.

To counter the spread of invasive non-native species, people are advised to check their equipment, footwear and clothing carefully when leaving bodies of water and ensure all items are cleaned and dried, as some species can live on in moist conditions.

More information is available via the Non-native Species Secretariat, which has the responsibility for coordinating the approach to invasive non-native species in Great Britain: www.nonnativespecies.org.