Speaking of healthy, unpolluted headwaters, as we were just a couple of days ago, we’d like to thank everyone who phoned the Wandle Trust and the Environment Agency’s emergency hotline to report a pollution incident on the Croydon arm of the upper Wandle yesterday morning.
From around 8.30am, the river in the Mill Lane area of Croydon was running a chalky yellowish colour. By 10.30am, this tongue of pollution was pushing through Beddington Park lake, and working down towards Hackbridge:
Thanks to concerned residents’ phone calls, our local EA Water Quality Officer Peter Ehmann was on the scene by 9.30am, taking water samples and tracking the pollution upstream as far as possible into Croydon.
Unfortunately the source of the problem quickly disappeared into all those culverted headwaters above the Barratt Homes development.
At this stage, the pollution seems likely to have been to be the result of dewatering a building site somewhere in Croydon.
Luckily, no fish were seen to be in distress, and the water birds in Beddington Park appeared quite unfazed:
Nevertheless, we’re very grateful to everyone who picked up the phone to report the incident.
Although the coloured water seems to have been relatively harmless (for now) vigilance like this is exactly what the Wandle needs.
So please do get in touch with us or the Environment Agency again if you have any further information about where the problem might have started!