Mill Pond: More Pollution

Polluted Mill Pond 29 July

Pollution on Mill Pond 29 July – photo by Kari Silvester

There was yet another pollution incident on the River Ravensbourne, at Mill Pond, Glassmill Lane on 29 July. This appeared to be sand, like an earlier incident, and which covered most of the pond surface. This was reported to the Environment Agency (ref: 1544086) by a Friends member. The long term environmental impact of this latest incident is currently uncertain.The pollution has subsequently been moving down stream. We await the result of this latest EA investigation.

Recently there have been an increased number of such incidents, some very serious. These incidents are the result of either unauthorised mis-connection of waste water outlets (e.g. sinks), or the illegal emptying of waste into local surface water drains or water courses.  The Environmental Agency, working with Thames Water, consider this a pollution ‘hot spot’, and the Mill Pond is being closely monitored by local volunteers and reported to the EA. If you spot pollution in our local rivers please report to the Environment Agency on 0800 807060

Pollution on Mill Pond

Mill Pond pollution booms

                               Pollution measures on Mill Pond                   Photo by Kari Silvester

Early last Friday morning (31 March) a serious pollution incident was spotted on the Mill Pond, Glassmill Lane, Bromley BR1. This was immediately reported, by one of our members, to the Environment Agency. A large quantity of oil was covering the water and its margins.

Since then Thames Water contractors have been busy on site installing temporary booms to restrict the wider contamination of the River Ravensbourne, as well trying to remove the oil. To date at least one tanker full of oil has been sucked up. Unfortunately oil has also contaminated both the mud and the island. This will be extremely difficult to clean. The impact on the fish and other invertebrates in the water has yet to be determined. Already several nesting Moorhens have died as a result of this pollution, and the RSPCA are continuing to monitor the situation.
The Environment Agency and Thames Water investigation, of the cause of this pollution and identification of the culprit, is ongoing. For more on this area go to Mill Pond and Ravensbourne restoration
This historic Mill Pond is important both for its heritage and environmental features. It is an important nesting site for ducks and is also visited by grey herons, kingfishers, etc. Part of the River Ravensbourne catchment, we were already working with Thames21 and other stakeholders, to access grant funding to enhance this important space.

Mill Pond working party

Cutting back hedge.

Cutting back hedge.

On Sunday 4th October Thames21 led the first working party of the autumn. Previously we were constrained by nesting birds. About ten volunteers cleared some undergrowth from paths and other key areas. Also the water level was temporarily lowered to increase water speed and so help to clear some silt around the weir. The next working party will take next month.

Mill Pond Review

Weir, Mill Pond

Weir, Mill Pond

On Sunday 13th September several members, and local people, attended a site meeting to discuss comments made by various parties, including the Environment Agency, to the latest Thames21 plan for the restoration of this historic former mill pond, off Glassmill Lane, BR2.

Topics covered included pollution control, water flow & flood control, a revised weir, and biodiversity. Thames21 are aiming to finalise project proposals and estimated costs by year end. In the meantime working parties will be arranged to maintain and tidy up existing vegetation, etc pending the project implementation.