Thank you United Utilities

I asked United Utilities for some information on two subjects on 2 March and got my first reply on 19 March – that’s a hell of a lot quicker than Natural England usually manage. Thank you United Utilities.

This question was about lead levels in water. This subject came up in questions after my talk in Preston on 25 February when a gentleman suggested that lead levels might be higher in areas shot regularly for Red Grouse (such as the nearby Forest of Bowland) and I said I wasn’t aware of any such evidence and that it seemed a bit unlikely to me because the uplands are a big place with lots of water! And that if there were a problem I’d expect water companies to know about it and be doing something about it.

Seems like my intuition was right according to the information sent to me by UU.

Dear Dr Avery
Thank you for your recent 2 enquiries.
I shall respond to you under separate cover, as soon as I am in a position to, in respect of your request regarding the numbers of Red Grouse shootings. This will be under my reference ID578 in the subejct header.
In the meantime, kindly note my response to your other queries:
1. Has UU tested levels of lead in water in different upland catchments?  Yes, we analyse for lead in the raw waters in our catchments
2.  Is UU aware (either through its own studies or those of others) of any evidence that links elevated lead levels in water to the occurrence/frequency/amount of shooting (for game (such as Pheasants or Red Grouse) or at targets (such as clays) in catchments?  We routinely monitor lead in our raw waters and are not aware of any links between the occurrence of shooting and an increased concentration of lead in those raw water catchments.
3. Does UU have any concerns about the amount of Red Grouse shooting in catchments such as the Forest of Bowland and lead levels in water?  We do not have any concerns about the concentration of lead in our raw water sources.

Utility companies are subject to these types of request. As you can see, I asked another question and I am waiting to hear the answer.


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