A PRIME tributary of the mighty River Severn has been hit with a major pollution killing 50,000 fish.

The River Morda at Oswestry in Shropshire was hit by a chemical leak that turned the river milky-white.

Giles Cochrane, fishery manager at Weston Pools that is next to the river, was horrified the entire eco-system was wiped out but luckily his water avoided any problems.

Giles said: “Five generations of fish have been totally wiped out.

“The fish population has been wiped out, the fry, next year’s fry, the food they eat such as shrimp and the caddisfly. The entire eco-system has been wiped out. It’s caused complete devastation.”

“It was absolutely sickening to see all those dead fish, and we were concerned that the pollution would permeate through the soil and into our pools but thankfully the EA have assured us that won’t happen.

“Although this doesn’t directly affect us, we have an obligation to make sure the public are aware of any abnormalities in the water.”

Long-term devastation

Giles said Weston Pools had replaced the fish in the river about five years ago, after a previous pollution incident.

But following the latest incident the EA says devastation is such that fish could be absent from the river for a lifetime.

United Utilities said it is investigating an issue at its treatment works in Oswestry and is working with the Agency to resolve the situation.

A United Utilities spokesman said: “There has been an issue at Oswestry water treatment works which we are currently investigating. We are working closely with the EA to resolve this.”

EA spokeswoman Jessica Jacques said: “We immediately responded working with partners to identify the source of the pollution and manage any impacts. We have identified the source of the pollution and no further pollutants are currently entering the river.”

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