Appeal for information about Ouseburn pollution

30 September 2011

Newcastle residents are being asked to help track the source of a pollution incident which caused the Ouseburn to foam in Jesmond Dene earlier this week.

Environment Agency officers were notified of the pollution just after 7am on Wednesday (28 September) this week, and arrived to find huge volumes of foam in the burn.

Officers took water samples, and working with Northumbrian Water, traced the foam back upstream to a pipe near Salters Bridge.

The pipe is linked to the surface water drainage system, which covers four areas. Officers are now appealing for help from the public, as they are now unable to pinpoint exactly where it came from.

Rob Carr, environment officer at the Environment Agency who attended the scene said: “We’d like to thank concerned residents who have already alerted us to the pollution.

“We know that it could have come from any one of four areas – Benton Lane, Killingworth Village, Killingworth Moor or Forest Hall, so we’re calling on anyone who lives in those areas or happened to be there on Tuesday or the early hours of Wednesday to report anything suspicious to us on our incident hotline, 0800 80 70 60.”

Officers suspect that the pollution was some form of detergent, which could have been poured directly down a drain.

Rob added: “The foam took six hours to clear, but we can still see the effects today. The impact was mainly visual and it spoiled everyone’s enjoyment of Jesmond Dene in this warm weather.”

The nature of the burn, with weirs and waterfalls helped contribute to the foaming of the detergent on the water.

Officers will now be analysing samples of the water to see if they can determine what the pollution was.

Environmnet Agency - www.environment-agency.gov.uk - press office 0113 231 2381 / 2464

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