Rob Williams of Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group writes:
As the snow disappeared at the beginning of March and everybody breathed a sigh of relief that they could go back to work and school on the Monday, the melt-water was bringing an unwelcome delivery for our local nature reserves. Somewhere upstream of Forty Acres in Stoke Gifford, an oily substance had found its way into the Stoke Brook and was flowing downstream through the area.
The Environment Agency were contacted, as they are responsible for investigating pollution events in the water courses. South Gloucestershire Council and the town council were also informed and there were many messages and comments on the TBNCG Facebook page. The concern and interest from the public has been enormous.
The Environment Agency, along with Wessex Water, have spent many hours out searching for the source of the pollution. It may sound like a simple job to walk back up the brook until the culprit is found, but the brook is culverted under the railway and splits in several places. The oily substance is a light hydrocarbon and easily mixes with water, only showing on the surface where the water flow is slow. This means that booms or sponges in the brook won’t retain or absorb the oil and therefore haven’t been deployed.
The extent of the leak appears to be diminishing at the time of writing [mid-March] and there have been no visible effects on the local wildlife, yet. With events like this, it is very important that the public help by reporting direct to the Environment Agency. Investigations can then be conducted straight away.
If you spot a worsening of this spill, please phone 0800 807060 and quote incident reference number 1594021. Please also report any future spills on the same number.
Photo: A rainbow sheen on the surface of the water at one of the weirs on Stoke Brook is a tell-tale indicator of a pollution incident upstream in Stoke Gifford or Filton
This article originally appeared in the April 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 11). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,200 homes in Bradley Stoke and Little Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.