Thames Water, in conjunction with the Environment Agency, is currently investigating an incident which saw raw sewage enter part of the River Lea in Bedfordshire.
The ‘significant’ pollution event took place at the end of February and saw sewage enter two fish lakes which form part of the river. A blocked sewer in Luton is thought to be the cause of the problem, which has decimated fish stocks at the private estate owned by Elite hotels.
The Environment Agency stopped the pollution at its source and has since tried to stop it flowing downstream. Thames Water is in the process of tacking the blocked sewer.
It has been estimated that around 1,000 small fish have died as a result of the sewer leak, with experts saying that the lakes will take around 18 months to recover.
The environmental management team leader Jenny Melvin commented:
“This is a significant sewage pollution incident which has caused the death of a large number of fish.
“It’s distressing to see such damage to a beautiful part of our environment, which will impact on the local community and particularly anglers who enjoy fishing the lakes.
“We have started an investigation into its cause.”