River Pool Pollution – Environment Agency Responds

Residents complaints alert of pollution

Scores of fish including eels were killed after a “blue coloured substance” entered the local River Pool. Councillor Alan Hall wrote to the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, Sir James Bevan on the 13th September to request details of the investigation.

The reply says that Environment Officers, and Fisheries Officers, attended site to substantiate the reports and assess the impacts of the pollution. Our monitoring demonstrated an impact to water quality and there was visible evidence of discolouration and pollution within the watercourse. Dead and distressed fish were recorded from the outfall at Cator Park, to the confluence with the Ravensbourne, which is estimated to be just over 2 miles in length. Thankfully, no dead fish were observed downstream of the confluence, including Ladywell Park where good fish populations are known to exist. From our monitoring we are satisfied that the impact to the fish populations did not extend beyond the Ravensbourne confluence.

“Our initial assessment indicates that the fish population was severely depleted in the
length impacted. All life stages were affected including at least 40 large eels, plus
specimens of Chub, Dace and Perch. We plan to undertake a further survey of the
impacted stretch to assess the remaining population and from this will determine the
need for restocking. If the initial assessment is proved to be correct, then it is likely
that stocking of silver fish will take place. These fish will come from the Environment
Agency fish farm which was established for such incidents. However, these fish will
be 2 years old and will not be a direct replacement for the mature fish lost.”
– The Environment Agency

Due to the serious nature of the incident and the detrimental impact to the eel and
fish population the Environment Agency are continuing to investigate the circumstances of this incident with a view to considering potential enforcement action.

Cllr Alan Hall has asked to be kept informed.

The full text of the response from the Environment Agency following pollution in the River Pool is here

Enivironment-Agency-River-Pool-reply-CE12319-2021.09.28

Reports on social media indicate that the incident may have resulted from a portable toilet being emptied into the river.

In a statement the Environment Agency said: “With the assistance of Thames Water, we were able to identify that it was linked to a third party flytipping some waste material into Thames Water’s surface water network. This, then released the polluting matter into the watercourse via the Cator Park surface water outfall.”

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