The Irish Sea

The coast off Workington is open and is affected by strong tidal currents, which makes the turnover of water high in and around the points of emissions. The water along this stretch of coast is also affected by a nearby treatment plant which processes municipal sewage and chemical industry effluent and by the River Derwent, which flows into the sea very close to the paperboard mill.

Degree of oxygen saturation

The oxygen content off the mill and at other measurement sites: More than 90 per cent.

Plant nutrients

Nitrogen: Workington's share of total input: Approximately 2 per cent.

Phosphorus: Workington's share of total input: Approximately 6 per cent.


The diversity and abundance of species in the area around the pipe is documented. The outcome is liable to fluctuate over the long period of the study. Factors considered are the mill effluent quality in addition to naturally occurring predators, deposits of sand, other industrial activities and general meteorogical conditions. The study documents the diversity and general abundance of species recorded on the shoreline as well as looking for any specific toxic effects.

The shoreline ecology has been reported as being healthy in terms of the diversity of recorded species and general status. There are no indication of any specific toxic effects.

The Solway coastal environment is relatively shallow and has mobile sand bed. Recent extreme and sustained weather has had a large effect on the west coast shoreline in general. It is anticipated that the immediate shoreline ecology will be affected, although currently unquantified.

Impact assessment is currently a discussion with the local authorities as part of the evolving industry BREF discussions.

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