Pollution Incident: What Did You See?

On the evening of Tuesday 21st August 2012, a fire at Thames Water’s Beddington Sewage Treatment Works resulted in a loss of power and the consequent release of partially treated sewage into the Wandle. This caused ammonia levels in the river to rise and oxygen levels to fall resulting in a fish kill.  The sewage works is now fully functioning with only treated effluent being released and a cleanup operation is underway to remove any remaining dead fish.

A sample of the dead fish

Although what happened is broadly known, we’d like your help to piece together specific details.  This will help the Environment Agency, Thames Water and ourselves with investigations to assess the impact of the event and to plan for future pollution prevention and restoration work.  If you have any information, observations, photos, etc. please do post them through the comments section below.  We’re particularly interested to know what time the pollution began and when it reached different points along the river as well as when/where any dead fish were seen and whether they were floating or on the river bed.

If you see any new pollution, please report it straight away to the Environment Agency incident line on 0800 80 70 60.

6 thoughts on “Pollution Incident: What Did You See?

  1. Grapheme

    At about 8.00 on Wednesday morning I started to fish in the upper reaches of the river in Morden Hall Park.
    The river was fairly high but very cloudy / brown mud coloured.
    I saw two dead chub float by.

    At about 8.30 I was informed of the pollution escaping into the river and I stopped fishing.


  2. n jones

    walked section of river below willow lane ,did see one large koi alive
    and two roach, saw lots of dead fish but they looked like victems from earlier in the week , above the point where bedington sewage works water enterd swa lots of six inch roach and chub/dace and a bit furher on four barbel one of which was a very good size so a little hope on a
    better day to come ,

  3. Stewart Ridgway

    Just walked down to MHP and saw one very dead looking Roach drifting along the bottom just as it came under the road bridge at the top end, so obviously came from upstream somewhere. Looked about 3/4lb I would say.

  4. michael

    Hi just had a read of your article as i check it regulary, just thought i would inform you i was fishing in ravensbury park a couple of days days ago, while the fishing was great plenty of chubb and roach caught i did notice a small chubb and roach float past me dead, they were to far out for my landing net to reach, i hope this dosent damage the whole wandle like before because the effort you guys put in is absolutley fantastic also if you could send me an email of times and dates that you do your clear up etc i would love to come along and help out, i did notice two guys in ravensbury the other day but they were to far up the river to call out to, many thanks

  5. Theo

    Many thanks all for your comments so far!

    Michael, as you request I’ve added your email address to our monthly email notification list via the sign-up box on the left hand side of this page, so you should now receive details of our cleanups automatically – look forward to meeting you on the bank!

  6. michael

    Just got the e-mail for ravensbury on the 9th i rode the wandle on my bike earlier today, at ravesbury i found a set of 4 office chairs, a bike hidden in the side weed afew traffic cones but the thing that disturbed me most was the 2 dead ducks i see…..earlier today i also went through poltus (poulter) park at the far end the water seemed a very dark blue/green colour, my 1st instict was maybe some chemicals got put in after the fire but this looked like a newly cut down swim as ive nevee seen it before and with all the work going on at tooting and mitcham football ground i hope its not them thats doing any damage!

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