31 May 2008

Sad Stroudwater Degeneration

Apparently local TV news this week covered the story of the local stagnant canal waters.

Photo: Frome with trolley a while back

Basically British Waterways have control over the river which in turn feeds the canal. This has been managed for the past twenty five years pretty successfully with none of the present day disasters. Now we have seen several incidents and indeed also problems with sluice gates at Ryeford. Here is my quick letter to British Waterways and Environment Agency:

I have been very concerned to read that again that stagnant waters in the canal have led to the death of young swans and fish in the Stroudwater Navigation at Ryeford, near Stonehouse. It was only last year many fish were lost and a year or so before that there was another incident. This would seem to be wholly unacceptable and it is no wonder that several local residents have contacted me concerned about this matter. Please can you let me know what measures are being put in place to ensure this does not happen again. I would also welcome the Environment Agencies view on what appears to be a repeat of the problems. Many thanks, Cllr. Philip Booth

1 comment:

Philip Booth said...

Here is the answer clarifying situation:

Thank you for your email of 31 May and my apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

We would like to emphasise that the water on the canal is not stagnant and that the dissolved oxygen levels are well above the threshold required by the Environment Agency. We have seen the vet’s report relating to the dead cygnet. The vet does not conclude that the infection found within the dead swan came from the canal. The tests we have undertaken indicate that the water is of good quality. We will continue to monitor these conditions and take appropriate action as necessary.

The water level in the canal can affect fish health. At present there is sufficient water within the canal to maintain fish health. However, at this time of year water levels can drop significantly. Again, we are monitoring the situation closely and have an action plan in place to deal with significant reductions in water level, how ever these may be caused.