Earthwatch reminds you to take sensible precautions and stay safe this week, especially if collecting freshwater data, as storms continue to affect parts of the UK.
If you feel there is any danger at all in collecting your data at this time, it may be best to postpone activity until the storms have passed and water levels have returned to normal.
Parts currently worst affected are towards north Wales and the south east. The east coast remains vulnerable, and tides will be significantly higher for at least the next 24 hours.
Please ensure you keep updated on the latest flood information, and review the Safety Guidelines below.
Before setting off, do you have:
• Permission to access the water body?
• Someone going with you?
• Someone who knows where you’re going and when you’re expected back?
• A mobile phone or a way to call for help?
• Good footwear? Waterproof and with good grip?
• Appropriate clothing for the environment (sun protection, warm clothing or wet weather kit)?
• All the equipment you need (including the data collection app or data sheet)?
• Knowledge of weather conditions? Is there a chance of flooding or
Upon arriving at your site consider these questions:
• Is the waterbody too high or too fast for you to access it safely?
• Do you have gloves on (to avoid direct contact with the water and the transmission of waterborne contaminants)?
• Are you somewhere stable with good footing?
• Is there somewhere safe for you to carry out the tests away from the water?
While carrying out the tests:
• If necessary to enter the waterbody, only enter the water to ankle level and ensure firm footing at all times. When sampling from the water’s edge, remember not to lean over the water. Where possible, a bridge with stable waist-height railings should be used. If lower railings are also present, you can sit down to ensure you are closer to the ground and more stable.
• Be careful of your eyes if using a pole as part of your water sampling device.
• Try not to disturb the bottom of the waterbody as this will impact the sample. Face upstream when sampling from moving water.
• Are you working a suitable and safe distance from the waterbody?
• Think about Nitrate and Phosphate Test Safety: The tubes contain a strong acid substance which is harmful if inhaled or ingested. If reagents or test solutions enter the mouth, immediately rinse with plenty of water. If contact occurs with eyes and skin, rinse and wash area thoroughly with water. If you would like a copy of the full
Material Safety Data Sheets please contact Earthwatch.
• Have you correctly disposed of the nitrate and phosphate testing tubes and small yellow pins? Both are made from polyethylene and are fully recyclable. Squeeze the liquid out down a sink (not a drain or back into the water body).
• Have you washed your hands?
Environment Agency: https://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/