Canons Brook: Environment Agency provide update on blue water investigation

Health / Fri 20th Aug 2021 at 02:24pm

THE ENVIRONMENT Agency has provided an update on its investigation into why parts of a stream in Harlow turned blue at the weekend.

A spokesperson said:

“Our specialist officers attended the site again on Tuesday morning and discovered the Canons Brook had a grey discolouration to it, coming from the same surface water outfall as the incident on Sunday. We called Thames Water out to help trace the discolouration back to its source.

We worked closely with Thames Water and didn’t identify any blockages on the surface water or foul sewer drains, though we did observe some blue/green staining when we lifted the surface water manholes. 

We have traced this staining back to a potential source located on Elizabeth Way, though we are unable to disclose the name of the business at this time. Thames Water will be the leading authority on deciding next steps, including whether to take any enforcement action going forward. 

We have provided advice and guidance to the business regarding the consequences of tipping substances into the surface water drains and the probable need for a trade effluent permit from Thames Water.

“We took water quality readings on both days we attended and didn’t observe any impacts to fish, wildlife or water quality.

The Leader of Harlow Council has welcomed today’s statement on the investigation by the Environment Agency following part of Canons Brook turning bright blue last weekend.

Councillor Andrew Johnson, Leader of Harlow Council, said: “I welcome that finally the Environment Agency has investigated the source of the pollution in Canons Brook working with Thames Water. It has taken pressure from myself and others like the MP to get this situation investigated and the source identified.

“We need agencies with statutory responsibilities in our town to prioritise issues like this. A number of residents, the golf club and community farm have been concerned about this issue. Pollution in Canons brook has happened previously and been reported on more than one occasion to the agency. I hope that we don’t now see a repeat of pollution in the brook and we will be keeping an eye on the situation.

“I will be writing again to the Environment Agency as we need to be assured that any future suspected pollution in our town’s brooks, streams and other water courses is given the attention it deserves and is a priority for investigation. I hope that the strongest possible action against the business responsible is also given serious consideration.”

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5 Comments for Canons Brook: Environment Agency provide update on blue water investigation:

2021-08-20 21:32:05

Thank good the chemical wasn't toxic, it could have been and the lesson to be learnt is that industrial sites drain straight into tributaries and then the Stort river Valley and isn't drinking water extracted from connected acquifers?.

Tony Durcan
2021-08-20 22:22:33

It’s disappointing but not surprising that the leader of the Tory council has to thank himself for his actions. I would like to extend my thanks to the volunteers who have help clean this up and the community leaders who have help to support the local residences. Let’s not forget the council community and environmental teams as well. Praising oneself isn’t real praise. No doubt the spin Doctor will have loads of shout outs ready to upload on this article.

Keith elliott
2021-08-22 15:46:31

Told us nothing as always I pay tax and water rates so so who did it. For how long has it be going on . What was it ? not the golf club I hope? Th what the taxpays of Harlow want to kwow not long sattments that tell us what we all know what would be done about it.?

2021-08-23 06:09:12

Ah as usual, Tony picking up the anti again in a tirade once more about the tories. Tony, tell me - why do you only comment on articles about Harlow council? And only ever about the Tory party? When will you actually show a true concern for Harlow and it’s residents as opposed to always launching into an unneeded and boring tirade?

Nicholas Taylor
2021-08-24 16:27:22

Lets be clear, it does not make any difference if Tom, Dick, Harriet or Cllr Johnson make representations to the Environment Agency, the same course of action and time scale for the matter to be resolved would occur. This is just another example of Tory spin doctors trying to get their name in the press. Once again, I have to agree with Cllr Durcan, but would point out that Labour Councillors were no better when they were in power.

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