River Can

This catchment consists of the River Can, Chignall Brook and Roxwell Brook. The Can is 23km long and is the main river within the catchment. Chignall Brook (23km in length) and Roxwell Brook (5.4km in length) flow into the Can.




    Diffuse pollution




    Physical modification


    Fish passage


    Invasive species


    Point source

Click or tap a pressure to view the affected waterbodies

Click or tap a waterbody to view the pressures

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) status for the Can is good while the status for Chignall Brook and Roxwell Brook are classified as moderate and both are failing because of high phosphate levels.

All three water bodies have good flows, high levels of dissolved oxygen and low levels of ammonia. Both the Can and Roxwell Brook have good fish populations and Roxwell Brook also has good Invertebrate populations. Only the Can has low phosphate levels, the two brooks have higher levels than would be desired.

The sources of phosphate within Chignall Brook and Roxwell brook are both linked to sewage treatment works, discharges from private residents and businesses and also agricultural inputs. More investigation is needed to determine if agriculture is having as impact and to what extent. To improve levels work needs to be done with water companies to reduce the impact of sewage treatment works (phosphate stripping may be needed), investigate other discharges to ensure they are not having a significant impact and work with farmers to alter their practices if agriculture is increasing the phosphate levels significantly.


Website key stakeholders:

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Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting based on an original concept by Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust