OPAL metals survey - we need your help

You can help scientists learn more about metal pollution in lakes and ponds

The OPAL Water team need your help to research metal contamination in lakes and ponds across England. By sending them a mud sample from your local lake you'll help scientists discover the areas most at risk from metal pollution.

Very small amounts of metals occur naturally in all biological organisms and environments. Some metals, such as copper and zinc, are even vital for health.

High metal concentrations, however, can damage the growth and development of plants and animals, and very high concentrations can cause death.

Animals higher up the freshwater food chain, such as carnivorous fish and fish-eating birds, are most at risk. This is because metals accumulate as they pass through the food chain - a process called bioaccumulation.

Get involved
OPAL Water scientists are asking everyone to help in their research by sending in a small mud sample from a local lake or pond so it can be analysed for metals. The more samples they receive, the more informative the research will be.

Just email the OPAL Water team for a free sampling kit and further instructions: opalwatercentre@geog.ucl.ac.uk.