Thames Water for Wildlife – Schools

HLF useThames Water LogoCan your school discover fantastic freshwater habitats, that are free from pollution and great for wildlife?


Project Aims:

  • To discover fantastic freshwater habitats, that are free from pollution and great for wildlife.
  • To uncover for the first time the extent of nutrient pollution facing freshwater life today.

Schools can sign up and use quick and easy nutrient testing kits as a class activity to teach students more about their local freshwater habitats while contributing to vital research. The kits rapidly measure the levels of nutrient pollution in freshwater, in particular the widespread nutrient pollutants nitrate and phosphate. These nutrients are invisible to the eye, but with new kits the invisible can be made visible within minutes.

The Survey

The survey is completely free to take part in and all the necessary equipment and interpretation materials are supplied. In summary the survey involves:

  • Sample collection – We suggest students work in pairs to collect a water sample from a nearby freshwater habitat (e.g. garden pond, local stream, garden water butt or even their tap water). They could do this as part of a class outing, or as a homework exercise.
  • Predict the results As a classroom exercise students can predict whether they think their water sample will be clean or polluted.
  • Sample testing – As a classroom exercise, the students use the nutrient kits (one phosphate test and one nitrate test) to test their water samples.
  • Analyse the results – Compare the classes’ results to look for patterns and trends in the data.
  • Enter the results online – Send your results via WaterNet (our online portal for the Thames Water for Wildlife survey) and contribute to the national survey.

Equipment (supplied):

  • Nutrient testing kits (1 per 2 students), Water sampling cups (1 per 2 students), Student packs (1 for each student), Protective gloves (1 pair for each student (classroom activity) and 1 pair to collect the water sample), Teacher’s notes (including health and safety notes).

To sign up:

Please find links to: the Student Pack, Teachers Notes, the ‘How to…’ Video, and Health & Safety Information below.