Essex: Clean-up of River Colne continues after pesticide spill

A MAJOR clean-up operation of a stretch of the River Colne is continuing after a pesticide spill devastated much of the natural wildlife.

Thousands of dead fish have been removed from the water after the spill happened in Toppesfield Brook at Great Yeldham on June 13.

Around 12km of the river has been affected, particularly between Great Yeldham and Earls Colne.

Fortunately about 8,000 fish were saved but invertebrate life such as insects has been severely affected by the pollution,

The Environment Agency’s Frank Saunders said: “We are still monitoring the river and pesticide levels are now greatly diluted so we are not seeing further impact on fish. We will continue to carry out sediment and water sampling until we are satisfied that the river has returned to normal.

“We are also monitoring invertebrate life in the river. This is a major flood source for fish and the results of these tests will inform us when we can start returning the fish we have rescued back to the river.”

The Agency said the pesticide is now very diluted and does not pose a significant risk to humans. Dog owners have been advised to keep their pets out of the water as a precautionary measure.

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