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Sci Total Environ. 2006 May 1;360(1-3):254-71. Epub 2005 Oct 25.

The water quality of the River Thame in the Thames Basin of south/south-eastern England.

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Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Maclean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, OXON, OX10 8BB, UK.


The water quality of the River Thame, a tributary of the River Thames in the Thames basin, is described in relation to point and diffuse contaminant inputs and runoff from permeable and impermeable bedrock geology with their own characteristic water quality. The data is examined to see if the market town of Aylesbury in the upper part of the catchment influences water quality. Previous studies highlighted the influence of Aylesbury sewage treatment works (STW) on soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentrations in the river before and after phosphorus (P) stripping at the STW. Variations in water quality along the river are described and the study indicates that, apart from SRP, water quality determinants seem to be relatively unaffected by Aylesbury. The Thame water quality is compared with other catchment typologies and it is very similar to that of the main stem of the Thames even though the Thames is mainly Chalk groundwater fed. Differences in water quality largely link to the amount of STW effluent within the rivers and to the endmember compositions of the groundwater and near surface water sources.

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