With the exception of Helston the Cober Catchment is sparsely populated rural area. Many homes, if not most, in the middle and upper regions of the catchment will use a septic tank to manage their sewage. Phosphate is a nutrient present in sewage and posses a risk to water quality as it leads to algae growth. As you know, this has been a big problem for Loe Pool. Loe Pool Forum wish to reduce phosphate levels to improve the health of the River Cober. To get happy fish populations (see happy fish photo below) we need to achieve low levels of phosphate in the River Cober.
Unmaintained and leaking septic tanks are one source of phosphate for the River Cober. However, this is a risk of unknown quantity for Loe Pool Forum. The Environment Agency and South West Water are developing a mapping methodology to be able to locate septic tanks in order to communicate best practice. For the time being though the location and condition of septic tanks in the catchment is an unknown. If you would like to know more about how to better maintain your septic tank then here is some information. Here is a Septic Tanks Leaflet from the Environment Agency which they produced for the Norfolk Broads. Here is a short Septic Tank Guide answering frequently asked questions. And finally, here is a comprehensive guide for Septic Tank Maintenance.