Number 1 hide, Floodplain Forest NR

Water Quality Survey, September 2017

This project was part of the ‘Clean Water for wildlife survey’ run by the Freshwater Habitats trust’s “people Ponds and Water Project”.

Phil and I had 5 testing kits and we set off to find 5 different water bodies, to test for Nitrates (ppm) and Phosphates (ppm). Our test sites were:

  1. Pond in Little Linford Wood (SP 8285 4550) 21/09/17
  2. River Great Ouse, Stony Stratford (SP7875 3965) 22/09/17
  3. Calverton Brook (SP 78095 3861) 22/09/17
  4. Pond, High Street, Stony Stratford (SP 7840 4080) 24/09/17
  5. Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve (SP8112 4220) 24/09/17

The test results showed that the water quality around MK is generally pretty good, with low levels of both Nitrates and Phosphates. Phil researched the net to try and establish an ‘acceptable’ level for nitrates for ‘environmental Water’ and the International Consensus is less than 5ppm.

So how did our 5 sites compare?

Site Nitrates Phosphates
Little Linford Wood less than 0.2 ppm less than 0.02ppm
River Great Ouse 0.5 – 1ppm less than 0.02 ppm
Calverton Brook 1-2ppm* less than 0.02ppm
Pond, High Street: less than 0.2ppm Less than 0.02ppm
Floodplain Forest NR less than 0.2ppm 0.02 – 0.05ppm

* indicates the higher level of Nitrates. This brook runs through farmland, which might account for it.

These figures need to be taken with a pinch of salt as the colour of the water in the test kit was assessed against the colour on the recording chart.

I wonder if there were there any other results to compare locally? Please send your results to

Mary Sarre, November 22nd, 2017