Metalworks is suspected of causing River Trent cyanide pollution

The River Trent suffered a massive pollution incident where cyanide and ammonia entered the river from a water treatment works at Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, killing thousands of barbel, roach, chub and dace.

The Environment Agency has today stated that a metalworks factory could have caused the damage by releasing the toxic chemicals into a public drain which has in turn affected a 30-mile stretch of the river known for its good head of barbel, chub, roach, pike and perch.

The incident was first reported on Monday when vigilant anglers began seeing fish 'struggling to breath' and 'gasping' in the river. Since then the Environment Agency has been pumping oxygen into the river to sustain water life downstream of the incident. 

The EA responded to the claims and tested the water and on Tuesday found the level of cyanide present to be high enough to poison aquatic life.

Environmental Campaigns Officer for the Angling Trust, Mark Owen, visited the scene of the incident and has claimed it to be one of the worst pollution incidents he has ever witnessed.

Unfortunately water from the affected sewage works will continue being pumped into the river for at least two or three days until the biological system within the sewerage treatment works is functioning correctly.

People are being advised to stay away from the river downstream of the Strongford water treatment works, but drinking water in the region will not be affected as water is not drawn from the river to be processed.

The EA has firmly stated that they will find out which company is responsible for the incident and prosecute those responsible.



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