Pollution warning after park scare

HOUSEHOLDERS and businesses were today warned about putting waste down drains, after a pollution scare at a Felixstowe park.Orange liquid was seen pouring into a stream at Langer Park – the second pollution incident at the recreation area this year.

By Richard Cornwell

HOUSEHOLDERS and businesses were today warned about putting waste down drains, after a pollution scare at a Felixstowe park.

Orange liquid was seen pouring into a stream at Langer Park – the second pollution incident at the recreation area this year.

The first incident saw around two gallons of oil dumped in the stream via a drain at the side of a road, and residents say they are worried about the effect on wildlife which lives on the water.


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The stream, which drains surface water off the seafront streets, goes into the drainage system under the port and out into the estuary and so any pollution could end up in water washing onto beaches or the nature reserve's banks

Geoffrey Pearman, of nearby Marina Gardens, spotted the orange chemical yseterday and reported it to the Town Hall.

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"When I visited the park at 10am the water was running clear and it was fine. At 12.30pm I walked through there and the water had completely changed colour – it was a deep brown-orange and looked horrible, really revolting" he said.

"Why do people do that? The last episode with the oil was a disaster for the wildlife that use that stream and just as it was recovering we have this happen."

Mr Pearman said only one of six moorhens which previously used the water, could now be seen and a kingfisher had also vanished.

"I suppose they either fled or died when the oil went in there. It is very sad. But more recently birds have come back and there have been minnows in the water.

"It's a real feature of the park and people do appreciate it – I would like to see real efforts made to look after this stream," he said.

He has fished out a number of cans and bottles in recent weeks to try to keep it clean, but says what people pour down the drains is the biggest threat to it.

The Environment Agency and Anglian Water officials teamed up to try to track down the culprit who put the oil into the surface water drains – and have warned that they would prosecute if they discover who is causing the pollution.

The agency was able to trap the oil with absorbency pads and a boom to stop it passing further downstream, and analyse specimens to try to track down its source, but often pollution is simply washed downstream fast, especially in rain.

The waterway is believed to be the remnant of a navigable stream which once ran from the marshland where Felixstowe port was built. A century ago portworkers would row their boats up the stream to the Ordnance Hotel to spend their pay.

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People with information call the Environment Agency's manned 24-hour confidential hotline on 0800 807060.

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What do think of the pollution of the park – what should be done to protect the stream? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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