We provide field experimentation and computer modelling expertise, to quantify the movement of pollutants such as nitrate, phosphorus, sediment pesticides and veterinary medicines from the farmed landscape to water.

Our services can include:

  • Monitoring of water quality at a field and catchment scale
  • Evaluation of mitigation options to reduce water pollution
  • Design, construction  and installation of bespoke water quality monitoring systems
  • Development of models to predict pollutant loss at a range of scales
  • The application of models to evaluate the cost-benefit of mitigation options

Pollutant monitoring

We have more than 30 years’ experience of monitoring pollutant losses from agriculture and the subsequent expert interpretation of data to inform the development of mitigation policies. We have expertise in the measurement of nitrate, phosphorus, sediment, pesticide and Faecal Indicator Organisms (FIOs) losses at a field and catchment scales.

Our capability is underpinned by our field instrumentation group that design and install bespoke monitoring and sample collection systems.

Modelling outcomes

We are renowned in the development and application of mathematical simulation models to describe and quantify environmental fate processes to inform the scientific evidence base on water quality required by policymakers. We have a suite of models, derived and validated against experimental data that can be used to estimate pollutant loss to water. These include NeapN for nitrate, PSYCHIC for phosphorus and sediment and APT for multi-pollutant issues.

We developed the FARMSCOPER decision support tool to assess diffuse agricultural pollutant loads and quantify the impacts of farm mitigation methods on these pollutants. We work in partnership with our specialist chemical risk assessment team in the Cambridge Environmental Assessments (CEA) group who focus on pesticides and veterinary medicines.