Second pollution incident in three years for Silchester waterway

Officials of the Environment Agency continued their investigations on the latest pollution that is affecting an eight-kilometre stretch of a waterway in Silchester, the second similar incident that affected the brooks within three years.

Cag Ketenci, a spokesman for the EA (Environment Agency), stated that they were alerted to this latest Foudry Brooks and Silchester incident Sunday morning (Aug 25th) by a phone call from a public citizen.

EA officers immediately attended the scene and they confirmed that they found at least 50 dead or in distress fishes, with very low dissolved oxygen level (less than 10%). The EA went on with their investigations until August 28th, to further determine if there were any apparent effects further downstream.

Mr. Ketenci added that their monitoring of the Foudry and Silchester brooks clearly showed that a pollutant was found in the water course, and they were alarmed by the lowered dissolved oxygen levels in the 8 km stretch. The EA are still working to clearly determine the ultimate source of the pollutant.

Linda Alexander, a villager of Silchester, stated that they saw that the water was murky at 4 PM of Sunday, and by 6 PM, they saw that the fishes were in trouble, especially the trouts which were gasping for air.

She added that they knew they had to act quickly, based on their 2010 pollution accident in the same location, so they telephoned the EA office immediately and organized the other villagers to produce rain water and pumps to quickly make a tank with properly oxygenated water and put in as many fish as they could.

The EA officials quickly arrived, said Mrs. Alexander, and they took water readings and samples. They were saddened due to the fact that life has barely begun returning to the water, after the last pollutant accident in the brooks 3 years ago. The Silchester and Foudry Brook inhabitants include herons, kingfishers, moorhens and ducks.