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 Upper Kennet Pollution kills riverflies

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Ed Randall

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PostSubject: River Kennet polluted, Wiltshire   Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:51 pm

Seeing reports on Twitter that the EA are investigating a pollution event on the river Kennet in Wiltshire, between Stonebridge and Chilton Foliat.

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PostSubject: Upper Kennet Pollution kills riverflies   Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:40 pm

Shows how valuable Riverfly is, bad news for the Kennet Crying or Very sad 

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10527810.Pollution_kills_river_insects/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-23177777


Well done to ARK for spotting it:

Devastating pollution incident on River Kennet (updated 4 July)

On Monday 1st July 3013 ARK's riverfly monitoring team identified a devastating pollution incident on the River Kennet. All the invertebrates for around 15km of river have been killed by an unknown pollutant which entered the river from, or close to the Sewage Treatment Works at Marlborough.

During the summer, invertebrates like the famous mayfly are abundant, and they are the key food source for fish and birds living along chalkstreams.

The River Kennet is a Site of Scientific Interest and one of England's finest chalkstreams. This incident is one of the largest ever and has wiped out around a third of the river.

ARK's volunteer riverfly monitors carry out 'health checks' on over 40 sites on the Kennet each month. Their efficiency and swift action alerted river keepers and The Environment Agency to the problem. The Environment Agency's chemical analysis has shown that the chemical is a pesticide, and the EA and Thames Water are working to identify its source.
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PostSubject: Re: Upper Kennet Pollution kills riverflies   Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:10 pm

Another tragedy due to agribusiness...


Richard Evil or Very Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Upper Kennet Pollution kills riverflies   Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:09 pm

That was the section that dried up last year not helped by the abstraction that takes the water from the bore hole sends it to Swindon and then gets dumped back into thames catchment....rivers have a lot to put up with ,best flow on the kennet for years and this happens
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PostSubject: Re: Upper Kennet Pollution kills riverflies   Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:24 pm

News release from the Angling Trust

http://www.anglingtrust.net/news.asp?itemid=1737&itemTitle=Pollution+Blights+the+Upper+Kennet§ion=29§ionTitle=Angling+Trust+News

Pollution Blights the Upper Kennet

Almost total wipe out of aquatic invertebrates between Marlborough & Hungerford
A serious pesticide pollution has hit the upper River Kennet this week resulting in an almost total wipe out of the aquatic invertebrates in much of a 15 km stretch downstream from Marlborough to Hungerford. As yet fish populations remain unscathed but there are concerns that there may be residual effects that are still to come. Much of this stretch of famous chalk river, renowned for its trout fishing, is situated within a SSSI.

The Environment Agency has identified the pollutant as chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate that is highly toxic to insect life. The source is as yet unknown but it entered the river by passing through the Marlborough Sewage Treatment Works. No damage appears to have been done to the works themselves. A team of specialists from both Thames Water and the EA are working together on trying to track down the cause and origins of the pollution.

Chlorpyrifos is used on lawns and golf courses and to tackle insects on crops and some soft fruits. It is the same pollutant that wiped out a large section of the River Wey in 2003 and led to a significant fish kill on the Sussex Ouse in 2001. It was banned in Singapore in 2009 for use in termite control in soil and the United States phased out chlorpyrifos for use in buildings and residential homes and pre-construction sites from 2001 due to public health and environmental concerns. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has moved to limit the use of the chemical near salmon rivers because of possible damage to fish and has been petitioned to introduce a total ban following reports that it can cause damage to human health.

The pollution was discovered on Monday by volunteer riverfly monitors working for Action for the River Kennet (ARK). In their statement ARK said:
"The Environment Agency were immediately alerted, as well as the downstream river keepers. By this morning the pollution had spread from the Elcot Lane area to beyond Ramsbury, but the river upstream of Elcot was healthy.

The Environment Agency are currently investigating the extent and cause of the incident. Although few fish appear to have been killed the absence of invertebrates means that both fish and other wildlife have nothing to eat, which will have a serious impact on the river's ecology. ARK have a team of over 50 volunteer riverfly monitors who monitor over 20 sites on the Kennet every month."

The Angling Trust have been involved throughout and have been liaising with both Thames Water and the EA. Their Campaigns Coordinator Martin Salter will be attending the forthcoming meeting organised by the EA to discuss the incident with river keepers and fishery interests.

Mark Owen, Freshwater and Environment Campaigns Manager for the Angling Trust said:
"This is a truly appalling pollution which seems to have been caused by a small amount of lethal pesticide which entered the sewerage system in the Marlborough area. We very much support the work to track down both the source and those responsible for the pollution and our colleagues at Fish Legal are ready to take action on behalf of our member clubs.

Even if fish stocks remain untouched there is now precious little left for the fish or other wildlife to eat which is why the Angling Trust is calling for measures to try and recolonise the affected stretches with invertebrates as quickly as possible.

We will support any measures the EA recommend to restore invertebrate communities in a sustainable manner.

Martin Salter added:
"The Angling Trust wants to know why on earth a lethal chemical like chlorpyriphos is allowed to be used anywhere near a river or watercourse. Apparently the 15 kms wipeout of invertebrates between Marlborough and Hungerford may have been caused by as little as a couple of spoonfuls of the stuff. If this is the case then the sooner we follow the lead of Singapore and America and ban it the better. We shall be asking the Environment Agency to immediately add this chemical to their Watch List of Priority Hazardous Substances to ensure all water bodies are monitored for the presence or absence of this chemical in our rivers."

ENDS

More info:
Martin Salter 07976 946033
Mark Owen 07545 733245
Charlotte Hitchmough ARK - 07880 515859

Notes:

Singapore Ban
http://app2.nea.gov.sg/docs/default-source/anti-pollution-radiation-protection/chemical-pollution/prohibition-on-the-use-of-chlorpyrifos-in-singapore.pdf?sfvrsn=0

USA
Environmental Groups Seek Ban of Common Pesticide Chlorpyrifos
http://www.boisestatepublicradio.org/post/environmental-groups-seek-ban-common-pesticide-chlorpyrifos
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PostSubject: Re: Upper Kennet Pollution kills riverflies   Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:08 am

This was particularly insidious, unlike sewage pollution a pesticide in the water would probably be invisible. Top marks to riverfly testing for detecting it so quickly.

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PostSubject: Re: Upper Kennet Pollution kills riverflies   Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:58 pm

Effects of pollution on River Kennet beginning to come clear

From: http://www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk/news/10541095.Effects_of_pollution_on_River_Kennet_beginning_to_come_clear/

Action for the River Kennet (ARK) volunteers Anna and Martin Harrison first spotted signs of the major pollution incident on Monday of last week. The spill has decimated the insect and fresh water shrimp population of the Kennet between Marlborough and Hungerford.

The Environment Agency believes the chemical that caused the damage is chlorpyrifos, a common agricultural pesticide.

ARK director Charlotte Hitchmough said the effects of losing so many invertebrates was now becoming visible.

She said: “The amount of chlorpyrifos in the river was about two teaspoons, if concentrated, which shows how toxic it is. This was a tiny amount of pesticide which has caused a massive problem.”

Mrs Hitchmough said the incident may have happened because someone disposed of the chemical down the drain thinking it would be cleaned, but she stressed that the Elcot Lane sewage works next to the river are there to treat human waste, not set up to make pesticide safe.

She said: “Stone flies remain unscathed but all other flies have died and they are rotting at the base, causing it to smell, and it has decimated the fresh water shrimp population which is key to the food chain.

“Normally we would expect to see them in their thousands by now. This will start to have knock-on consequences for birds such as swallows and fish – it’s a long stretch and any fish in the middle have seven kilometeres to swim for food.”

As a result of the pollution the public were warned to avoid swimming, paddling, fishing or any other recreation in the river until the exact concentrations and impacts of the pesticide had been determined.

But this ban was lifted by the Environment Agency on Monday afternoon after recent samples taken from the river show the pesticide has dissipated naturally with the water flow and levels have dropped significantly since last week.

The Food Standards Agency has also advised that there should be no restrictions on eating fish caught in the river.

Paul Hudson, from the Environment Agency, said: “It is great news that the pesticide has dissipated naturally and the precautionary restrictions have been removed following advice from Public Health England and the Food Standards Agency.

“We are still trying to trace the source of the pesticide, and we would appeal for anyone who has information to come forward so we can take steps to educate those responsible to prevent it from happening again.”

Anyone with information about the incident can call the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.
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PostSubject: Re: Upper Kennet Pollution kills riverflies   Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:41 am

Nasty stuff https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorpyrifos
"Chlorpyrifos is highly toxic to amphibians, and a recent study by the United States Geological Survey found that its main breakdown product in the environment, chlorpyrifos oxon, is even more toxic to these animals.[28]"

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PostSubject: Re: Upper Kennet Pollution kills riverflies   Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:44 pm

Angling Trust calls for a ban on the domestic use of killer chemical

http://www.anglingtrust.net/news.asp?section=29§ionTitle=Angling+Trust+News&itemid=1776

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PostSubject: Re: Upper Kennet Pollution kills riverflies   Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:15 pm

Video of a recent fish survey:

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