Pollution turns rivers blue

AN INVESTIGATION is under way today after an illegally dumped liquid turned miles of Suffolk rivers blue.

AN INVESTIGATION is under way today after an illegally dumped liquid turned miles of Suffolk rivers blue.

The Environment Agency is appealing for help from anyone who has had ink or dye (possibly several thousand gallons) collected from their premises to be disposed of.

The agency said that the colouring has not caused any problems for plants, animals, or fish in the rivers and is not a health risk, but is still a serious pollution incident.

The first report of a blue river came last Wednesday from residents saying that the Flowton Brook and Belstead Brook had turned dark blue between Flowton and Belstead.


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By the following day, the colouring had extended as far as Bourne Park in Ipswich and on Monday the Environment Agency received reports of coloured water along the Belstead Brook throughout Ipswich and from Hadleigh residents about the River Brett in Hadleigh.

Working with Anglian Water, Environment Agency officers traced the source of the dye in the River Brett in Hadleigh through the drainage system to a surface water drain on the Lady Lane Industrial Estate.

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It is believed that a tanker emptied the polluting liquid illegally into the manhole at the beginning of the week.

Team Leader Jonathan Thompson said: “This incident demonstrates very clearly why you should never put anything down surface water drains. They are designed purely to take run-off from the land when it rains and are directly connected to the river system. Anything going down a surface water drain can be spread for many miles and could have devastating effects on the environment.

“We want to find the person who did this and would appreciate any help local businesses or passers-by could give us. “You can help prevent this type of problem by making sure that any waste taken from your premises is taken by someone with a valid Waste Carrier Licence. This helps to cut-out rogue traders and ensure that waste is treated as it should be, so it doesn't end-up going down the drain.”

Anyone with information can ring the Environment Agency incident hotline anonymously on 0800 80 70 60. Waste Carrier Licences can be checked by calling 08708 506 506 or online at www.environment-agency.gov.uk.

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