[UPDATE: See the comments section for latest info on the cause of the pollution and on the efforts to find the culprits.]
Almost two years after the sewage spill which caused serious damage to its aquatic life, the River Crane has again been affected by pollution. The incident, probably took place on 3rd or early on the 4th October (precise details tbc). The Environment Agency spent much of Friday at the river investigating the incident and measuring and testing the water. By Saturday morning oxygen levels were rising again although the advice coming from the Agency was for owners to keep their dogs (and their children) out of the river. According to the London Borough of Hounslow website, the source of the pollution was traced to an outfall pipe upstream of the A30. The site quotes Mark Heelis of the Environment Agency as saying: “This is a significant incident and it appears that many fish have been killed”. So, more bad news for this long suffering river.
On Tuesday, @envagencySE told us on Twitter: “It was a damaged sewage sludge pipe in the Cranford area. Impact has reduced as the discharge has stopped. We are investigating”. The agency is asking members of the public to report pollution incidents to its hotline on 0800 807060. Meanwhile a Thames Water spokesman is quoted on the Your Local Guardian website saying that, “a pipe that carries treated sewage sludge between our treatment works was damaged by an unknown third party last week”. So, whether it was an accident or deliberate remains to be seen but either way, it’s had a seriously damaging effect on the river.
We’ll add more detail from the Environment Agency and Thames Water on the cause and impact of this incident when it emerges.