Treated sewage released into rivers may hamper eel migrations

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Treated sewage released into rivers may hamper eel migrations


European eels avoid swimming through plumes of treated wastewater

Christian GUY/imageBROKER.com GmbH/Alamy

Discharges from sewage treatment plants into rivers may act as a barrier to migrating fish. European eels (Anguilla anguilla) seem to deliberately avoid plumes of treated wastewater, in some cases delaying their journeys by several days.

Sewage treatment creates a complex chemical cocktail – “thousands and thousands of chemicals, and we don’t know the exact composition”, says Hendrik Volken Winter at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

When studying how hydropower or pumping stations delayed or killed migrating eels, his team noticed that …



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