Catalogue description Department of Scientific and Industrial Research: Water Pollution Research Board: Reports

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Details of AY 2
Reference: AY 2
Title: Department of Scientific and Industrial Research: Water Pollution Research Board: Reports

This series consists of the Water Pollution Research Board's numbered papers (otherwise in DSIR 13), mainly comprising reports on investigations made under the direct supervision of the Director of Research, or indirectly through other organisations. In particular these include the Rothamsted Experimental Station, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Marine Biological Association and the Freshwater Biological Association. It includes some papers of the River Tees Survey Committee and the River Mersey Committee.

Date: 1915-1965

Former reference numbers refer to the paper numbers

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Water Pollution Research Board, 1954-1965

Physical description: 1127 file(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

Department of the Environment , from 1977

Administrative / biographical background:

The Water Pollution Research Organisation was established by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research in May 1927, mainly as a result of representations by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, which were becoming increasingly concerned with the problems of river pollution and its adverse effect on the supply of pure water for a growing population and industry.

A Water Pollution Research Board was established to submit schemes for research on the prevention of pollution, by individual effluents and sewage, of rivers and other sources of water supply, and to supervise the execution of approved investigations. Accordingly the board sponsored research in universities and set up committees to survey pollution in certain English rivers and make arrangements for the necessary research to be put in hand.

In June 1938 the board recommended the creation of a central station adequately equipped to investigate the problems of water pollution. With the outbreak of war, temporary premises were found at a house in Watford and huts at the Building Research Station; other sections worked at Birmingham from 1938 and Coventry from 1947. These various elements were replaced by a new central Water Pollution Research Laboratory at Stevenage in 1954.

In 1965 the laboratory passed to the Ministry of Technology, and the research board was replaced by a Water Pollution Research Laboratory Steering Committee. In 1970 it was transferred to the Department of Trade and Industry, and in January 1971 to the Department of the Environment.

In 1974 it became one of the constituent parts of the new Water Research Centre at Stevenage, grant-aided by the department. The laboratory conducts research into the treatment of sewage and trade effluents, the causes and prevention of pollution in rivers, and the purification of natural waters for the nation's water supplies.

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