Officers from the Environment Agency have been advising businesses in Cramlington about what they can do to prevent pollution in a nearby stream.
The Environment Agency identified one of the main causes of pollution into the Horton Burn was from contaminants getting into surface water drains on Cramlington Industrial Estate.
The pollution watchdog has been working with businesses on Cramlington Industrial Estate to stop oils, solvents and inks getting into the Horton Burn.
The Environment Agency is responsible for protecting and improving the environment, including rivers, lakes and the sea.
To tackle the problem, the Environment Agency visited a total of 80 local businesses last year to raise awareness of the problem and offer advice to prevent pollution getting into surface water drains.
In a recent survey about the impact of the work, the majority of businesses had made improvements to minimise pollution getting into the Horton Burn.
The improvements include installing barriers in front of drains and training staff about the correct way to dispose of oils and solvents.
There remains work to do, however, as oil was reported in the Horton Burn over Christmas.
Mel George, environment officer for the Environment Agency, said: “It’s our job to stop pollution of the Horton Burn. We want to try and work with businesses on Cramlington Industrial Estate to improve their current practices and prevent future pollution.
“The results of our work show that this has had a positive impact, but there is still work to do as the recent pollution incident shows. We will carry on this work until the problem is resolved.”
The team will now be working with Northumbrian Water to investigate further if any source of pollution is finding its way through the sewer network.
The Environment Agency is appealing to anyone who sees pollution in the Horton Burn to report it to its 24 hour hotline on 0800 807060, which is free to call from landlines.