A., and Faulkner, H. (2000). An assessment of the suitability of the
Environment Agency's water quality classification system for use in
urban catchments. Water and Environmental Management
the increasing range of water-quality indicators, the classification
and target-setting strategy which has been adopted by the Environment
Agency for England and Wales is dominated by the assessment of water
chemistry at low flow. Using the example of Pymme’s Brook in north
London, this paper examines the suitability of such data for
classifying the quality of urban watercourses and its ability to reveal
quality changes. The data expose a weakness in the Environment Agency’s
methodology, because they suggest that, when used alone, chemical
monitoring leads to water quality being greatly over-estimated and
inappropriate targets being set. It is therefore recommended that other
quality indicators should be fully integrated into the assessment
system in order to overcome these problems.
paper can be downloaded for free.