Environmental officers are investigating a pollution incident after a river turned white in south Devon. The Environment Agency said it was looking into the reasons for the change in color of the River Yealm. It said officers are on site “looking for the source of pollution and what impact there is on the environment.”
Residents became concerned when a river turned a strange milky white color. The River Dean in Bollington turned white last night, and readers wasted no time snapping photos of the strange phenomenon. There are reports that it was spotted around 5 p.m. and that it looked like someone had emptied white paint into the river, which runs through Bollington Recreation Ground. More than 12 miles of river have reportedly been impacted, which is shocking and may have very severe environmental effects in the area.
The rivers Yealm and Piall in south Devon turned chalk white earlier this month, shocking bystanders who were unaware that this was not the first time it has occurred in the region, according to local news site Devon Live. While EA representatives declined to provide any information, a prior occurrence with the same river becoming white in November 2020 may provide us with some additional insight into what may have occurred this time.
An EA representative stated at the time, the 2020 incident was brought on by “rainfall-related run-off at a quarry operation in the upper catchment.” However, we are still unsure if the same source is to blame for this month’s incident.
EA said that “We are supporting the work to stop the discharge and prevent further material from being washed down the river,” and “We have officers at different locations on the river sampling and assessing the impact.” The direct environmental impact of the contaminant, needless to say, is still unknown.