With regard to the news story in Field Notes (July issue) about Anglian Water using reed-bed filtration to clean water, I am afraid it is not the first to use this method.
I was district treatment manager at Bristol Water Company’s Barrow Treatment Works from 1987-2001. They used this method well before my tenure and still do to clean water prior to its return to the Land Yeo, which flows through several villages before entering the Bristol Channel near Clevedon. It is also used at its Stowey treatment works, which has been cleaning water that flows into the River Chew from at least the mid 1950s. The outfalls are tested regularly by the Environment Agency and always achieve its target standard. It is a tried and tested method that should be utilised more often, not only by water companies but also by industry and farms where possible.
Phil Rollings (retired), by email