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Thousands of fish die from Denholme reservoir pollution
Thousands of fish have died in Doe Park Reservoir in Denholme as a result of a “pollution incident”, although the exact cause is still unknown.
A team of Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water staff were called to the site yesterday after reports of dead and distressed fish at the 20-acre reservoir, which is used for sailing and canoeing. Fisheries officers found more than 2,000 dead roach, bream, perch and pike around the edges.
Bradford Council was forced to postpone an open day at its water activities centre on the reservoir which was planned for today and activities were being reorganised.
The open day will now take place on August 6. The school and youth groups who were due to take part in activities this week have been informed that kayaking and canoeing activities are now taking place on the River Aire and the Leeds-Liverpool Canal instead and that alternative activities such as archery, cycling and climbing are being arranged through the Council’s sport and leisure adventure unit instead.
The results of tests on the water and the dead fish are not expected to be back for a couple of days, but early indications suggest the cause was natural.
Pete Turner, fisheries officer at the Environment Agency, confirmed that ten barrels of hydrogen peroxide were pumped into the reservoir yesterday afternoon, which not only added oxygen to the water, but helps to break down organic matter which can cause poor water quality.
He added: “We’ve checked the gills of the distressed fish and they’re all slimy. This tells us that they’re being irritated by something in the water.”
But he said that the oxygen levels in the water were found to be good so they believed it was down to organic matter that had been washed in by the recent flooding.
A pump supplied by Yorkshire Water was used to stir the surface of the water.
A spokesman said yesterday that they were working with the Environment Agency to work out what the pollutant was and where it had come from.
The reservoir is not used for drinking water but a compensation reservoir used to top up river levels instead.
Phil Barker, the Council’s assistant director for sport and leisure, apologised for having to cancel the open day due to the unforeseen circumstances, but encouraged people to attend next month.
She said: “We have also done our best to reorganise all the activities that we had planned this week so that the groups booked in can still enjoy a fantastic week.
“We hope to be able to re-open Doe Park as soon as possible but are reliant on the Environment Agency’s investigations and hope that whatever the problem is, it can be quickly resolved.”