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kenj

My local river was polluted last week

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Are you sure it was toluene? I was in the Merchant Navy and worked a lot on Chemical Tankers. We used to move a lot of toluene around Europe. It smells more ike the glue that plastic models are made from more than petrol.

 

In industry it's used amongst other things as a feedstock to make benzine. Benzine was another chemical we used to cart around. Benzine is REALLY nasty stuff. It doesn't take a lot of that crap to give you leukemia. It'll turn your blood into black porridge. ;-)


The problem isn't what people don't know, it's what they know that just ain't so.
Vaut mieux ne rien dire et passer pour un con que de parler et prouver que t'en est un!
Mi, ch’fais toudis à m’mote

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Ken,

 

""""""oily smell on the bank,""""""Odor: Sweet, pungent, Benzene-like.

 

Not likely it was toluene - or at least not 100% toluene. The odor of toluene is Sweet, pungent, Benzene-like. It sound like you should remember the smell from the auto days. Remember the odor of nitro-benzene? Or, nitro-toluene? That's the smell.

 

Steve,

MSDS

Ecotoxicity: Ecotoxicity in water (LC50): 313 mg/l 48 hours [Daphnia (daphnia)]. 17 mg/l 24 hours [Fish (Blue Gill)]. 13 mg/l 96 hours [Fish (Blue Gill)]. 56 mg/l 24 hours [Fish (Fathead minnow)]. 34 mg/l 96 hours [Fish (Fathead minnow)]. 56.8 ppm any hours [Fish (Goldfish)].

 

Phone

I suspect if it was a concern the EA could "blow it off" as "just toluene". I can think of a lot worse since toluene is only slightly toxic (if at all).

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Phone and Corydoras. I agree with you both, in fact plastic Airfix kits used to use toluene glue. I had a long conversation with the Environment Agency fisheries officer and they had identified toluene from their own sample and that of a lake owner down stream. I personally think that it was a fuel tank with a mix of petrol and toluene, the toluene evaporating quiet quickly, although it was also mixed with water through the weirs. There is still an old engine oil type of smell on the banks, while, when I dragged my net across the bottom, a slick came to the surface. The problem is that the river runs underground for about a mile, with drains from several small industrial estates emptying into it. There are car, bike and industrial units among them. Having said that, it must have been a big spill to have gone so far downstream.

 

When it stops raining here, I intend to fish a couple of miles down, where an unpolluted stream doubles the flow of the river. This is usually full of fish and hope to get a few there. If not, that will be it for a few years.

 

When a kid, my friend and I were fishing a river near our home, when fish began rising to the surface and drifting off. That river, the Colne, was dead for 10 years, even the weed died off.

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I wonder if it was dirty, used toluene - perhaps had been used for cleaning something?

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Kenj, Steve,

 

NOW - you've got a problem.

 

Phone

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Latest update from the fisheries officer at the Environment Agency is that the pollution was a rogue event, caused by a person, or persons unknown. Having followed up all possible sources of the spillage, there is no evidence available for a prosecution.

 

The local club, that has taken over the control of the river, had already secured funding for improvement works to the banks by the local council, while the EA are still going ahead with tree work to reduce the canopy, allowing more light to penetrate the river.

 

Walking the bank yesterday, the river was in flood, due to heavy rain locally, which will do it's part to flush what residue remains.

 

The months of February and March produced double figure nets of big roach on this water, which cannot be compensated for by a proposed restocking program. We live in hope.

Edited by kenj

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kenj,

 

No "good" can come of this type event. I hope your venue has received a minimal jolt. Nothing "burns my butt" more than this kind of story with the "rogue" cause. Yeah - right - everyone I know runs around with 55 gal of used chemicals. - bs

 

Phone

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kenj, on 08 Feb 2017 - 14:14, said:

Latest update from the fisheries officer at the Environment Agency is that the pollution was a rogue event, caused by a person, or persons unknown. Having followed up all possible sources of the spillage, there is no evidence available for a prosecution.

 

The local club, that has taken over the control of the river, had already secured funding for improvement works to the banks by the local council, while the EA are still going ahead with tree work to reduce the canopy, allowing more light to penetrate the river.

 

Walking the bank yesterday, the river was in flood, due to heavy rain locally, which will do it's part to flush what residue remains.

 

The months of February and March produced double figure nets of big roach on this water, which cannot be compensated for by a proposed restocking program. We live in hope.

 

Time to get your money's worth for the rod licence tax. Ask when full environmental surveys are being carried out, tell them you expect a call to invite you as observer, ask to see a written recovery plan. Give the EA a chance and they'll do nothing of any value. I've spent 3 months getting answers out of them over a pollution near here where they seem to be functioning more as a PR body for the polluters than anything else. Twitter is a good tool for this, they can't hide or delete it like they do with inconvenient questions on Facebook.

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Guess what? I went for a walk along the river again today. Noticed the smell of oil, as I passed over the bridge and looked down to see a new boom across one of the three outlets from the town. The boom was doing nothing, a light oily substance was passing beneath it, sending a rainbow bloom bursting out over the surface. Further downstream rainbow coloured rafts of oil were drifting with the current.

 

I rang my contact at the EA, who was unaware of the new spill. He rang back saying that Thames Water contractors had fitted the new boom today and would send out another engineer. He did also say that a "minor" spill had been reported over Christmas and traced back to a company in the town. He said this latest event is probably the same source, which does point a finger for the main spillage. The EA have carried out oxygen level test earlier this week and found them back to normal levels.

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kenj,

 

No "good" can come of this type event. I hope your venue has received a minimal jolt. Nothing "burns my butt" more than this kind of story with the "rogue" cause. Yeah - right - everyone I know runs around with 55 gal of used chemicals. - bs

 

Phone

:nono: I think the "rogue element, no prosecution possible" is a lack of funds or will power to track down the villain/s as any pollutant should be traceable. Find out what it is, where it was sold and to whom, then put a trace on the drains of the main suspects, they could find the perpetrator if they really wanted to. :nono:

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