Information about spill of chemical into River Derwent

27.02.2009

On Tuesday 24 February Northumbrian Water discovered that an alkali used in the water treatment process was spilling at a water treatment works and some had escaped into a drain and then into a burn and on into the River Derwent in County Durham.

This was a brief but serious spill and a full investigation is underway at the treatment works to establish how it happened and why systems in place to prevent something like this happening failed.

As soon as the spill was spotted it was stopped and more fresh water was flushed into the river to mitigate any impact.

Derwent reservoir was also releasing millions of litres into the River Derwent at the time which further diluted any impact.

Northumbrian Water takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously and regrets this incident and will work with the Environment Agency and the local fishing club to repair any damage caused and restock fish that were killed.

The spill did not create any danger to the public and initial investigations indicate that impact on the river Derwent was confined to its upper reaches below the Derwent reservoir.

For further information contact Alistair Baker on 0191-301-6851 or 07711-793493.

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