River Colne – Pesticide Spill Update
The Environment Agency are counting the ecological cost of the recent pesticide spill into River Colne.
The clean up operation on the River Colne is continuing following the pesticide spill in Toppesfield Brook on 13 June. At least 12km of the Essex river was affected, in particular the stretch from Great Yeldham to Earls Colne.
The Environment Agency has rescued around 8000 fish but thousands have died and the pollution has also had devastating effects on invertebrate life.
Frank Saunders, from the Environment Agency said:
“We are still monitoring the river and pesticide levels are now greatly diluted so we are not seeing further impact on fish. We will continue to carry out sediment and water sampling until we are satisfied that the river has returned to normal.
We are also monitoring invertebrate life in the river. This is a major food source for fish and the results of these tests will inform us when we can start returning the fish we have rescued back to the river”.
Environment Agency officers and volunteers from the Essex Wildlife Trust have been removing dead fish from the river and this work will continue for the next few days.
The EA state that the pesticide is now very dilute and does not pose a significant risk to humans, but if anyone has been in contact with the water and is at all concerned, they should contact NHS Direct. Dog owners are being advised to keep their pets out of the water as a precautionary measure.
The Environment Agency has now launched a full investigation into the causes of the spill on 13 June.
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