Contact Us

For information about the Sullied Sediments project, contact:

Project Lead
Professor Jeanette Rotchell
University of Hull 
(+44)1482 465333 

Project Coordinator
Annabel Hanson
East & North Yorkshire Waterways Partnership
(+44)1482 391678

RiverDip Citizen Science Programme Resumes

RiverDip Volunteer Training Workshop

Monday, 12 October 2020, Aalst

One ambition of our project is to raise public awareness about the water quality in rivers and canals across the North Sea Region through citizen science.

In this context, a team based at the University of Hull (UK) has developed the "RiverDip" dipstick, which can be used to determine the ortho-phosphate content in waterways. An increase in phosphate contributes to eutrophication or over-fertilization of the watercourses.

The aim of the RiverDip citizen science programme is to train volunteers to gain insight into the phosphate problems in as many watercourses as possible in the North Sea Region. The result of the RiverDip dipsticks are forwarded using the accompanying RiverDip app, where they are checked and then displayed on an online map on our Tools and Resources web page here:

The Flemish Environment Agency would like to invite you to a workshop called, "Use of the RiverDip app for determining phosphate," on Monday, 12 October 2020, from 13:30 to 16:30, in Aalst. The workshop will be given by Prof. dr. Mark Lorch, professor of Public Engagement and Science Communication, Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Chemical Technology at the University of Hull, UK.

You can register until Wednesday, 30 September 2020, via the link below. The number of participants is limited to 25.

Register here:

Please note that the workshop will be given in English. If you wish to cancel your previous registration due to the change in location, please contact us via 

Project Summary 

Many of the inland waterways in the European Union are under threat due to the introduction of Watch List chemicals that are not currently regulated under the European Water Framework Directive. These chemicals include the so-called “gender benders” such as estradiol and the contraceptive pill, and other pharmaceutical drugs such as triclosan and diclofenac, which have been shown to be harmful to wildlife. These chemicals are introduced to our waterways as a result of our day-to-day activities and through industry. Regardless of the source, they accumulate in the sediments in our rivers and canals. 

Water regulators and managing authorities do not always know the levels, the locations or the impacts of these pollutants. Nor do they have the tools to assess sediments confidently and make decisions with regard to managing them. An interdisciplinary partnership of scientific experts, regulators and water managers led by the University of Hull (UK) will develop and test new tools to better assess, treat and prevent contamination from these chemicals. This work will be carried out at nine sites, all of which have a history of sediment problems, in the North Sea Region’s Elbe, Humber and Scheldt river catchments.

The aim of the ‘Sullied Sediments’ project is therefore to enable regulators and water managers to make better decisions with regard to sediment management, removal and disposal, thereby reducing economic costs and the impact of these pollutants on the environment.

The partnership will also endeavour to reduce the amount of chemicals entering the water system by raising awareness about what we, as consumers, are releasing into the environment through the use of common drugs and household products. Part of this includes the involvement of volunteers in a sediment sampling initiative across the region, which will inform and empower these citizens as water stewards and champions.

‘Sullied Sediments’ has been has been co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg VB North Sea Region Programme with a grant of 2.043.413 € with equivalent match funding from the partners involved. The project partnership includes public, private and third sector organisations based in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Latest Project News

RiverDip Citizen Science Programme resumes!

23 September 2020

After an eight month hiatus due to Covid-19, we are thrilled to announce the continuation of our volunteer training workshops as part of our RiverDip …

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Sullied Sediments Newsletter Just Published

16 July 2020

The 5th edition of our newsletter is now available.

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What is the Sullied Sediments RiverDip volunteer programme?

14 July 2020

Learn about water quality and how you can help to improve it in your local watercourse

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RiverDip Volunteer Training Workshops Resume in October 2020

14 July 2020

We are delighted to announce that the RiverDip volunteer training workshop in Ghent has been rescheduled to 12 October 2020

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BBC reports on Sullied Sediments volunteer water sampling campaign

27 September 2019

BBC Environment correspondent Paul Murphy meets the team with our Pocklington Canal volunteers

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