Investigation into how river through Sydenham and Lewisham was polluted, killing hundreds of fish

A river’s fish population has been affected by pollution from a storm drain.

The River Pool in Sydenham, had a flood of green liquid pouring into it on Monday, with passers-by seeing scores of dead fish washed up on its banks.

Many dog walkers and pedestrians dismayed by the affect on the rivers teeming life – but also fearful if their own chldren or animals strayed into the water.

The waterway, which flows from Shirley and West Wickham, had already been hit by another pollutant – this time a brown liquid – days before, but it did not appear to do as much harm.

Lower Sydenham resident, comedy writer Nick Hildred, had to hold onto his dog to prevent her from diving in.

Nick Hildred with his dogs Dinky (front) and Popcorn

He said: “I was about to let my dog in when I saw this bright blue liquid coming from a storm drain coming out in Cator Park.

“It was greeny blue by Monday. It was really stinky. Some of the dead fish are about eight inches long.

“Last week I had seen a dark beige liquid coming from the same storm drain.

“Normally, it is crystal clear. I walk my dog there regularly. I even wade in it myself sometimes.

Me and my daughter, who is 14, also do a bit of litter-collecting to keep it tidy.

“It is an amazing area – with wildfowl, coots, moorhens and herons. Those will all have to go elsewhere now.”

In June 2009, London Mayor Boris Johnson fell into the River Pool while promoting volunteering to clean up the waterway.

The three-mile river, has two tributaries, the River Beck and the Chaffinch Brook.

It flows into the River Ravensbourne near Long Meadow Allotments at Catford.

The River Pool Walkway, running from Lennard Road near the Midland Bank Sports Ground and Catford, includes a conservation site and naturalised areas; the route is part of the National Cycle Network.

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said: “We are investigating a pollution incident on the River Ravensbourne, near Beckenham.

“Our specialist officers are looking into what happened and the effect on the environment.

“We would ask anyone with information to contact our incident hotline on 0800 807060.”

 

 


 

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