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Pollution that killed 100,000 fish in Peterborough streams ‘has passed through’

The Environment Agency and Anglia Water both sent teams to investigate.

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Pollution that has killed more than 100,000 fish in streams running through Nene Park, Peterborough, “has passed through” says the Environment Agency. A spokesperson for the Environment Agency told CambsNews: “The pollution has passed through the river, and we are now seeing fish behaving like normal again.

“We are not aware of the fish populations being affected in the wider area.”

Water samples have been taken by the agency is yet to confirm the source or nature of the pollutant, but Nene Park officials say there is nothing to suggest it is sewage related.

The Environment Agency and Anglia Water both sent teams to investigate.

The full statement from the Environment Agency.

“Environment Agency officers have been on site monitoring the situation and are continuing to investigate the nature and the source of the substance that has polluted the river.

“We ask that people stay away from the area until further notice, and dog walkers do not allow their dogs to enter the water.

“We encourage members of the public to report environmental incidents to us on our free 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”

Their background briefing:

We estimate there are over 100,000 dead fish in the River Nene.

We are fast-tracking samples through our lab to establish what the polluting substance in the river is.

We have contractors on standby to clear up, once we know what the substance is.

Anglian Water officers have been assisting us by checking surface water drains. We have no reason to believe this is a sewage pollution incident.

The pollution has passed through the river and we are now seeing fish behaving like normal again.  

We are not aware of the fish populations being affected in the wider area.

Chris Park, from the Nene Park Trust, described to BBC seeing so many dead fish as a “sickening” sight.

“It’s heart-breaking to see these fish. And concerning as we are only a mile away from River Nene. We don’t want other wildlife to be impacted through the food chain and water streams”, Mr Park said.

Environmental catastrophe: Pollution has killed thousands of fish in Peterborough streams PHOTO: Terry Harris

Pictured the fish – white dots, can be seen along the banks as they attempt to get out of the contaminated water.
Thousands of dead and dying fish have been found along a stretch of river near Nene Park.,
Golds Lane, Peterborough
Tuesday 12 December 2023.
Picture by Terry Harris.

“I have been with the park for almost 34 years, and this is only the second such incident I have come across. The first one was about 10 years ago which led to a Peterborough company being prosecuted for pollution.

“We saw something like an oily chemical in the water, but we don’t know what exactly it was. EA is investigating alongside Anglian Water.”

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