The pesticide spill in Toppesfield Brook is continuing to affect the River Colne downstream from Great Yeldham. At least 10kms of the river has been affected so far.
The pollution is moving relatively slowly down the river and the Environment Agency estimate it will reach Colchester in around two days. However, they hope that there will be no major effects by this point due to the pesticide being further diluted by the widening river.
The Environment Agency has moved around 6000 fish to safety so far. However, they estimate that 4000 larger fish and many thousands of smaller fish, invertebrates and flora have been killed.
Frank Saunders from the Environment Agency said: ‘We are continuing to do all we can to minimise the impact but unfortunately we have seen some devastating effects so far. This is one of the biggest chemical spills into a watercourse in Essex in the last 15 years”
“We ask that if people see fish gasping or dead anywhere along the river, please ring the Environment Agency immediately on 0845 80 70 60.”
The pesticide is now very dilute and does not pose a significant risk to humans, but if anyone has been in contact with the water and is at all concerned, they should contact NHS Direct. Dog owners are being advised to keep their pets out of the water as a precautionary measure.