Fish survive pollution disaster

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I WRITE to both comment and report on the near catastrophic pollution disaster featured by your newspaper last week.

Being fortunate enough to live adjacent the River Arun, I have daily checked the river local to me following the event and can happily report that countless small and larger fish can been seen throughout the river indicating that many fish survived contrary to the fears that the river was to resemble a ‘fish graveyard’!

Thanks I am sure to the extremely prompt action by the Environment Agency who worked tirelessly 24 hours per day for four days oxygenating and chemically treating the water. I might add that the water clarity and condition appears far cleaner that it has been for some years indicating that something has changed upstream?

However three important issues remain:

1. That the river bed and submerged banks are tested to determine that the all important plant and lower life form have survived the pollution, the findings being publicly reported.

2. That the findings of the ‘criminal investigation’ referred to, are when concluded made public disclosing the perpetrator and cause, along with the measures proposed to prevent a future catastrophe occurring.

3. That if the much referred to cause is proven to have been an untreated sewage discharge from a public sewage works, that a full public review be upon the sewage treatment plant capacity, given the growing strain it must inevitably be under to service the thousands of new homes proposed for the Horsham and Arun river catchment.

The Arun river must surely be one of the most important and beautiful landscape assets of this area and must be protected, and that this news headline not fade away but be monitored and reported upon regularly, may I please ask your newspaper to become the rivers champion!

As a final comment and supporter of ‘The rivers access campaign’ to open waterways up for all, I must unhappily report that much of the Arun riverbank has been allowed to become overgrown in places blocking passage of the river, clearly landowners are either unaware of or feel no responsibility for keeping river the banks clear and the river free flowing, again I would humbly ask you to highlight this matter.

GEOFF LOVELL

Haven Road, Rudgwick