Million pound eel protection screen unveiled on River Derwent
10 Sep 2019
Yorkshire Water has completed its £1million scheme has been completed to prevent eels from the River Derwent inadvertently swimming into its water treatment works at Loftsome Bridge in East Yorkshire.
The treatment works abstracts water from the river to treat and supply as drinking water, but its previous inlet could not prevent small fish, including eels, to occasionally swim through into its water processing site.
Around Europe there has been a dramatic decline in the numbers of smaller and younger European Eels, to the point where the fish is now classified as critically endangered.
To try to halt the population decline, the EU Eels Regulations orders water companies to ensure their screens and inlets are designed in such a way to protect this fish species.
Ben Gillespie, lead advisor – hydroecology, at Yorkshire Water said: “Our new inlet on the River Derwent now has upgraded screens designed to prevent small fish from being drawn into the water treatment works we have at Loftsome Bridge.
“This will allow eels to migrate up and down the river Derwent without risk from our water infrastructure. The project is part of our £10m fish pass programme that will permanently improve the aquatic environment of Yorkshire’s rivers.”
Pat O'Brien, fisheries technical specialist at the Environment Agency, said: It has been a pleasure working with Yorkshire Water on this project and I’m delighted with the choice of screen installed which is probably the best type to exclude all fish species.
“The River Derwent at Loftsome Bridge has a healthy coarse fish population in addition to the migratory species like eel, lamprey and salmon. This new screen will ensure that all of these species are protected.”