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River 'pollution' in Stratford was a natural foam, Severn Trent says

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A HORRID looking foam spotted floating in clumps along the River Avon at Stratford was not sewage, both Severn Trent and the Environment Agency confirmed this week.

The foam on the Avon caused concern that sewage had been let into the river. (54296915)
The foam on the Avon caused concern that sewage had been let into the river. (54296915)

Concerns were raised after a dog walker captured on film what appeared to be a fast-flowing discharge of sewage on the river near the Fisherman’s car park.

Concerns were reported to Severn Trent, the Environment Agency and Stratford District Council.

However, Severn Trent said there were no reports of sewage in the water and after studying the video concluded it was a naturally-occurring foam.

A spokesperson told the Herald: “We’ve had no reports of pollutions and we’ve also thoroughly checked our network and can confirm there’s been no overflow discharges for some time in this area, confirming that what is on the river is not from the Severn Trent network.

“After inspecting the video, it looks likely that this is a naturally occurring foam that is on the surface of the water. This foam is created when things like leaves and twigs fall into the water and decay, releasing compounds allowing air to mix with water, creating small surface bubbles.”

The dog walker – who asked not to be identified – said he was relieved to learn what he’d witnessed wasn’t sewage.

“It looked fairly unsavoury, but I couldn’t smell anything. I’m not a scientist but we have had people falling ill after swimming in the river last summer and with it being a leisure area and a place where dogs exercise, I was concerned when I saw a substantial amount of matter and thought it was illegal sewage being dumped in the river so I filmed it,” the dog walker said.

Yesterday, Wednesday, the Environment Agency also confirmed that no pollution had been found in the river.

A spokesperson for the agency said: “With Severn Trent Water, we responded to a report of sewage pollution in the River Avon at Stratford-upon-Avon on Wednesday, 5th January. No pollution or any issues with the river were found.

“Anyone who suspects any pollution in their local river should call the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 807060.”

Stratford District Council said while there are designated areas for swimmers, the Avon by the car park is not one of them.

A spokesperson said: “The river near to the Fisherman’s car park is not designated bathing water, which is monitored by the Environment Agency for pollution levels. The health risks from using rivers and other open water locations that are not designated as bathing waters may be higher than at designated bathing waters.

“To reduce risk from bathing waters Public Health England and the Environment Agency offer advice in their ‘swim healthy’ guidance (www.gov.uk/government/publications/swim-healthy-leaflet/swim-healthy) which is available to read before making any decision on swimming.”

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