Leicestershire pollution incident resolved
Environmental damage to site of special scientific interest and fish stocks on the Grand Union Canal averted.
A serious pollution incident on an 8km stretch of the Grand Union Canal has now been dealt with, the threat to a Site of Special Scientific Interest has been averted, and thousands of fish have been saved.
The Environment Agency, the Canal & River Trust and Natural England worked together successfully to deal with the incident that is thought to have originated from farm slurry entering the canal.
The operation involved efforts to contain the pollution, rescue the fish and then dilute the water to protect the Site of Special Scientific Interest, and save the fish downstream in the unpolluted stretch of the canal.
John Dronfield, incident commander at the Environment Agency said:
The hard work of all the teams involved has led to the best possible outcome that we could have hoped for.
Whilst the incident resulted in thousands of fish deaths, the outcome could have been far worse. I’m pleased to announce that the vast majority of fish were saved and the Site of Special Scientific Interest on the Kilby-Foxton Canal was protected.
Neil Owen, acting waterway manager for the Canal & River Trust, said:
Working with our specialist contractors, MEM Fisheries, we managed to save over 100,000 fish from this pollution incident. It is going to take time for the fish stocks to recover but hopefully over time the fish relocated further along the canal will make their way back to this stretch of canal.
The canal was closed to boats for 3 weeks and 3 days as the water was aerated to remedy some of the damage caused and thousands of fish were plucked from the polluted stretch and moved to safer areas. Fresh water was then pumped into the affected area from the river Sence and from further upstream in order to dilute the pollution until the water quality was back to normal.
The successful incident response and collaboration of all 3 agencies prevented further damage to the environment or to recreational fishing downstream, and the Environment Agency investigation team is now taking the lead in attempts to identify and take action against any individual or business that contributed to the pollution.
Anyone who sees any impact of the pollution or any dead fish should report the matter to our incident hotline on 0800 807060. Anyone who has any information on the possible source of the pollution is also urged to contact the hotline.
Latest News from
Lack of water presents ‘existential’ threat, says Environment Agency Chief19/10/2021 13:10:00
Sir James Bevan sets out hopes of keeping the 1.5°C target alive at COP26, but warns whatever is agreed the damage from climate change will be felt for decades.
New strategy launched to protect chalk streams18/10/2021 10:25:00
The Environment Agency recently (15 October 2021) welcomed a new chalk stream strategy to protect ‘England’s rainforests’
Chalk stream strategy launched to protect ‘England’s rainforests’15/10/2021 16:15:00
The Environment Agency has today welcomed a new strategy launched to protect England’s chalk streams.
Removal of Dovecliff weir restores river health15/10/2021 12:05:00
The £2.5 million project to remove the Dovecliff weir at Egginton, South Derbyshire is now complete following a 24-month programme of works.
New thermal kit to improve fisheries enforcement in East Anglia15/10/2021 11:05:00
The Environment Agency has purchased a thermal imaging camera for fisheries enforcement activity in East Anglia.
River Wansbeck trial aims to improve water quality15/10/2021 10:05:00
Sluice gates which manage water levels in the River Wansbeck will be open for three months as part of efforts to reduce silt build up.
Doncaster company’s recycling failure leads to charity donation14/10/2021 16:15:00
The Environment Agency has accepted an Enforcement Undertaking (EU) from Doncaster-based Caswick Ltd for breaking packaging regulations.
Permit granted for next stage in Hoveton Broad Restoration project14/10/2021 14:05:00
The Environment Agency has granted a permit to place fish barriers across the entrances to Hoveton Great Broad as part of a restoration project.
North East company directors in court for serious waste offences14/10/2021 09:10:00
Three men have been banned from acting as company directors for five years following an Environment Agency investigation into waste offences.