“There have been many pollution incidents in and around the Watford area involving overflowing sewers, waste from industry and retail concerns emitting from outfalls into the rivers, together with many incidents of raw sewage as a result of mis-connections from properties.

One such incident led to a serious fish mortality – this being a key driver determining Environment Agency attendance and activity around an incident. The actual cause was never established, although a number of likely sources were identified.

After a couple of weeks another incident occurred. This time few dead fish were left in the river to die and this appeared to significantly delay the attendance time of the Environment Agency – although crayfish were climbing out of the river because dissolved oxygen levels were so low.

One of the suspected sources of pollution was the same as before so we were told the agency would raise a warrant to inspect the premises. During the ensuing year the Agency repeated that the warrant was being arranged.

During that time the company had applied for retrospective planning permission, which was granted. This was reason enough for the Environment Agency to consider the matter ‘solved’ and they effectively closed the case. We believe it likely the pollution continues to this day.”

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