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 Possible Cat.1 fish kill incident Duke of Northumberland River

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Ed Randall

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PostSubject: Possible Cat.1 fish kill incident Duke of Northumberland River   Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:33 pm

We've just been notified of a possible Category 1 pollution incident with "hundreds of dead fish" in the Duke of Northumberland River, behind Heathrow Terminal 5.  Thames Water and the EA were investigating.

This was followed up by a further message that the incident was "normal occurrence" and all resources had stood down.

"Cat 1" and "normal occurrence" doesn't make sense to us.

Could anyone in the area, anywhere between Heathrow and the Crane in Twickenham, please go down and take a look at the river, take some photos if possible (now matter how poor quality, do your best) and report back?

Thanks, Ed.

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Last edited by Ed Randall on Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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David Harvey

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PostSubject: Re: Possible Cat.1 fish kill incident Duke of Northumberland River   Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:37 pm

Thanks mate.

If anyone is local to the Crane and can take a look it would be appreciated. Cheers.
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Ed Randall

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PostSubject: Re: Possible Cat.1 fish kill incident Duke of Northumberland River   Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:20 pm

I went up to the shot tower / nature reserve area just now and took a look around.

There's a lot of dark coloured water pushing through with a bit of a suds-y smell about it but not the grey colour you seem to get when it's sewage and didn't see any dead fish, a few swirls suggested there was life beneath the surface in fact.

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Robin Vernon



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PostSubject: Re: Possible Cat.1 fish kill incident Duke of Northumberland River   Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:32 pm

Stuck my head over a bridge near Cranford on way home, all looked OK.  Up and coloured but as expected from heavy rain. Got home and looked at Meadway Bridge - same conditions, looks OK.
Someone must have pressed the red button by accident on the warning system.
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Ed Randall

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PostSubject: Re: Possible Cat.1 fish kill incident Duke of Northumberland River   Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:16 pm

Thanks Robin, sigh of relief.

Some photos I took whilst I was there.
https://picasaweb.google.com/105140280237210420217/RiverCrane30thJuly2013
They're not having much success dealing with the balsam on that nature reserve.

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Ed Randall

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PostSubject: Re: Possible Cat.1 fish kill incident Duke of Northumberland River   Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:21 pm

Had a reply to our enquiry about this.

The incident caller was HAL (ie. Heathrow Airport Ltd)

Quote :
Details: 30/07/2013 The caller rang with regards to reports of fish kill on the Duke of Northumberland's River (watercourse.)  It was first noticed late last night (29 July) when 80 dead fish were noted and again this morning (30 July) when 24 dead fish have been found.  They are unsure of the species, but they vary in size and some are large.  The area they have patrolled is the area around terminal five.  The caller states that they are not aware of any discolouration or odour, but can find this information out if required.  Their telemetry system is reading a 65% dissolved oxygen concentration.  
The incident occurred in close proximity to Terminal 5 Heathrow Airport. The incident was reported by the Environmental Compliance Team of Heathrow Airport Limited. Internally the infrastructure was checked to ensure no failings or discharges into the waterbody.  

The incident was passed to -----,  Env Agency.  The area concerned has an off-take from the River Colne. It is not known to have a history of pollution incidents. The water from the River Colne is of reasonable / good quality. The Duke of Northumberland's around the airport is a canalised structure. The off take has a settlement pond which can be susceptible to algal blooms.  
Thames Water were also notified, in case there was a fault with their infrastructure. Thames Water later  called the Environment Agency confirming their deployment and assessment of the area (sewer check). Thames Water confirmed their attendance. They reported back confirming NO sewage pollution in the river. Thames Water later called to confirm that they could not find any blockages or failings with their infrastructure. Thames Water confirmed that they were leaving the site.
Thames Water and Heathrow Airport Limited reported back to the Environment Agency that no faults or failings were found. Their infrastructure was declared as fit for purpose. Towards the end of the day there were no new reports coming to the Environment Agency. (No reported water quality problems. No fish in distress. )

A decision was made that no Officer would be deployed. The reasons included:  
1) staff were being stretched with a series of incident across London,
2) Stakeholder feedback supports the Environment Agency theme of a no pollution event and
3) there is no information to suggest that the Environment Agency needed to take action to prevent escalation.  
 
In conclusion ----- assessed the incidents as being a natural event, as a result of a thunder storm passing over the catchment on 29 July 2013. The telemetry reading reported by Heathrow Airport suggests a sudden change in conditions (including thermal shock), which most likely caused stress on the fish. (Similar incidents occurred across London.) The information from Thames Water and the Airport on the ground, support the belief of a natural event.  
No Environment Officer was deployed, as there was no pollution to identify or trace.

Through dialogue with the Compliance team, Heathrow Airport Limited, an agreement was made. The Airport commissioned their contractors to collect the fish and place on the bank. The reports received state as much as 200 in total of mixed fish  -including Roach and a few bream. The Environment Agency's contractors were deployed to remove the fish from the river bank and incinerate. This takes took place on the 31 July 2013.

Information was exchanged with Fisheries Team.  Fish collected and disposed of. No further action required. Incident closed.



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