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Second incident of pollution in brooks in last three years
HUNDREDS of fish were found dead after a stretch of Silchester waterway was polluted.
THE Environment Agency is investigating the cause of the pollution after around 750 fish were killed in Silchester and Foudry Brook.
The alarm was first raised last Sunday, August 24, by Linda Alexander, of Clappers Farm, in Clappers Farm Road near Silchester, who noticed that the waters were murky and spotted dead fish at around 4pm.
She called the agency before saving as many fish as possible by putting them in a tank filled with oxygenated water.
Environment Agency officers, who were at the scene within a couple of hours, found hundreds of trout, along with chub, minnow, bullhead, stickleback and stone loach fish species were dead or in distress in the eight km stretch of water affected by the pollutant.
Cag Ketenci from the Environment Agency said: “A member of the public called us to report discolouration of the water and a number of adult dead fish on the Foudry Brook.
“Environment Agency officers attended the scene and confirmed that dissolved oxygen levels were very low- less than 10 per cent.
“Our monitoring of the Silchester and Foudry Brook showed that there was a pollutant present in the water course, and dissolved oxygen levels were low over a 8km stretch.”
Today, water quality readings taken by agency officers were normal and showed no ongoing pollution in the watercourse.
Mr Ketenci said: ““We estimate that around 750 fish were killed, however live fish and invertebrates were found swimming next to the dead fish.
“We have taken water samples on the affected stretch and this will take several days to process in the lab. We are still investigating the source of the pollutant.”
This is the second such incident in the brooks in the last three years- in July 2010 sewage sludge leaked into the two brooks, killing between 7,500 and 22,000 fish.
In 2011, Thames Water Utilities Limited were ordered to pay more than £61,000 by Winchester Crown Court after admitting culpability.
Mrs Alexander said it that any pollution of the brook was devastating for local wildlife and upsetting for those who live nearby.
She said: “Life was just beginning to return to the brook, the kingfishers, the herons, the ducks and moorhens.
“It is awful to think about it happening again.”
A Thames Water spokesman told The Gazette that the company had had no leaks from the unmanned sewage treatment works to the south-west of Silchester, which was the source of the pollution in 2010.
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