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 red alert now

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William Pettigrew

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PostSubject: red alert now   Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:07 pm

just got a call from jim,saying that the oxygen levels are right down on the tidal. jims getting the recovery kit together and should be down there in a short while.
im on my way now,were meeting at the rowing platforms at putney south side.
im not saying get down there.just maybe keep an eye on this forum for updates Shocked
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David Harvey

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PostSubject: Re: red alert now   Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:05 pm

Cheers Willie, been a long day.

Following the discharges on Tuesday, the EA advised us that the dissolved oxygen levels on the Western tideway have plunged to levels not seen since 6th June, so critical.

Headed to Putney whilst James A was at Hammersmith and the EA were at Chiswick. We kept in regular communication from about 2pm onwards with the EA advising how far the block of sewage was moving downstream. Ended up with us all at Putney and the water quality monitoring station by the bridge, showing it was very poor.

Despite this, we didn't see any dead fish, only small shrimps but mainly alive and up in the water trying to find oxygen. The (Gammarus) shrimp is a good indicator of water quality and are normally the first species effected .

The EA water quality team have asked for TW to reduce abstraction and allow more clean flow through, quite an unusual step but is an indicator of just how bad the tidal is tonight. The call by the EA is part of a Thames Estuary agreement but is seldom used for obvious reasons, ie London's drinking water supplies

The water quality will not rapidly improve so the dissolved oxygen levels will remain critically low for some days, the EA are using everything they have to mitigate the sewage. Current low tide end of this sewage is around Putney, so will head back upstream, and back again.

As to why no dead fish, anyone's guess, in these conditions should have seen similar scenes to those in June. There has been 3 months of this now so either the fish have moved, died, got clever, who knows.

On the upside, we helped the EA have eyes on a decent length of the river, and pleased we can help. Many thanks also to Steve H for taking loads of calls and texts from us this afternoon, nice one mate.

This incident is ongoing tonight and probably for a number of days. If you are near the river or can get down, let us know what you see, where and anything else. If you see nothing, still let us know.

Live water quality monitoring by the EA experts



Took the opportunity to chat with some of the many rowers





Cheers

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James Page



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PostSubject: Re: red alert now   Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:59 am

a big up to everyone for all their support yesterday

dissolved oxygen levels below 9%, trout streams are 90%, accepted level for the thames is 40%

so the oxygen crash in june wasn't as bad, but the death to wildlife catastrophic, so why no fish this time, only clouds of shrimp mid river
its bloody obvious, in june everything was killed, since then its been a steady stream of sewage, and now there's bugger all left to kill, the food chain from microbes upwards aint functioning, rowers report a distinct lack of cormorants and herons, as well as a strange smell

a mahoosive thanks to the gals'n'guys of the EA, we hope the brew kit made a pukka riverside cuppa
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David Harvey

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PostSubject: Re: red alert now   Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:29 pm

Spoke to the EA and the DO is still very low but the sag is gradually moving downstream. No signs of any fish deaths so still a mystery. Is it likely that the fish have moved, silvers upstream and the salt water fish down stream?

The next action is that Hydrogen Peroxide is going to be pumped in at Western just downstream of Albert Bridge.

So what we may have is an area of the river where it is dead, nothing lives or wants to live in it. The EA are may need to go over historical data and reports to try and find an explanation. The surveys are at the end of the month, so will give a much clearer picture for sure.

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Steve Holmes



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PostSubject: Re: red alert now   Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:06 pm

David Harvey wrote:
Spoke to the EA and the DO is still very low but the sag is gradually moving downstream. No signs of any fish deaths so still a mystery. Is it likely that the fish have moved, silvers upstream and the salt water fish down stream?

The next action is that Hydrogen Peroxide is going to be pumped in at Western just downstream of Albert Bridge.

So what we may have is an area of the river where it is dead, nothing lives or wants to live in it. The EA are may need to go over historical data and reports to try and find an explanation. The surveys are at the end of the month, so will give a much clearer picture for sure.


I wish we knew the answers - yet another Thames mystery. Those tidal netting surveys are going to be very interesting.

Sounds like a project for the ZSL aswell...they'd hit it from a different angle than the EA Fisheries...probably more emphasis on other river life, like snails and invertebrates.
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David Harvey

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PostSubject: Re: red alert now   Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:27 pm

Jim was chatting to some of the rowers and they are not seeing the number of diving birds this year, so think it maybe dead area of river, shocking if it is. Like being back in the 50's and 60's.

Looking back historically, the constant overflows of sewage never made any difference as the Thames was so polluted, and no fished lived in the tidal reaches. As the water quality has improved and more fish have populated these areas, the effects are seen.

Same old question, just how different could it be with no sewage. Question

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Ed Randall

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PostSubject: Re: red alert now   Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:58 pm

A shocking thought David. Isn't the annual seine netting survey coming up soon, the results will be very interesting.

In one of those docs I dug up the other day, the multi-metric fish indicator one, in particular I thought Chelsea Creek stands out as having one of the highest numbers of different species. Anyone fish down that way?
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Steve Holmes



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PostSubject: Re: red alert now   Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:46 pm

EdRandall wrote:
Chelsea Creek stands out as having one of the highest numbers of different species. Anyone fish down that way?

Have chatted to Rich Crimp about Chelsea Creek...he's the man for down there. I did 1 session in the Hurlingham Wharf area last year, about a mile and a half upstream of the Creek. Caught lots of small perch, small roach and average bream.....(but what's new? Laughing )

Old article but for new members here's an EA netting operation opposite Chelsea Creek and what they caught:

http://rivertac.org/site/?p=428


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