• ARRSE have partnered with Armadillo Merino to bring you an ARRSE exclusive, generous discount offer on their full price range.
    To keep you warm with the best of Merino gear, visit www.armadillomerino.co.uk and use the code: NEWARRSE40 at the checkout to get 40% off!
    This superb deal has been generously offered to us by Armadillo Merino and is valid until midnight on the the 28th of February.

Chucking stuff down the drain

#1
We all do it to some extent. We read about the consequences often enough. This latest one takes the biscuit so far as I am concerned - flushing a very small amount of an insecticide down a drain caused the loss of all insect life along a 10 mile stretch of the River Kennet.

I looked this up after watching BBC South Today last night.

BBC News - River Kennet pesticide pollution prompts call for ban

River Kennet pesticide pollution prompts call for ban

Water minister Richard Benyon has called for a clampdown on a pesticide that "seriously" polluted the River Kennet between Wiltshire and Berkshire.

The MP said an "egg cup" of Chlorpyrifos affected a 10-mile (16km) stretch of the river, killing shrimp.
Mr Benyon said the "fragile eco system" of the river had been "devastated". He added the tiny amount of pesticide that caused the damage was "terrifying".

The Environment Agency is investigating the source of the pollution.

'Nothing to eat'

Chlorpyrifos is routinely used as an insecticide in agriculture, in fruit farming and at municipal parks and golf courses.

Freshwater shrimp, mayfly and caddis fly in the river appeared to have been wiped out by the pesticide, "leaving birds and fish with nothing to eat", an Action for the River Kennet (ARK) spokesman said.

The pesticide entered the Kennet via a sewage pumping station in Marlborough, Wiltshire and affected wildlife downstream in Hungerford, Berkshire.

Only professional people are authorised to buy and use it.

Mr Benyon, who lives by the River Kennet in Newbury, has called on Defra to look into imposing more restrictions.

"The worry is that this chemical is purchasable online," he said.

A Defra spokesperson said: "When used wrongly, pesticides can have devastating effects on wildlife, as happened here".

She added it was working with the Environment Agency to investigate the incident.
 
#2
The "professionals" who buy and use this sort of stuff call it disposal by infinite dillution.

Or "throw it in the river/sea". This is apparently an approved method of disposal for a wide range of nasty stuff.
 
#5
Situation normal, apart from it happened on the Minister's doorstep, and got in the news.
If so little could zap such a big area then it scares me as much as VX did during NBC training and why I never trusted a noddy suit.

I'm surprised at the comments that this sort of disposal can be considered normal practice.
 
#6
If so little could zap such a big area then it scares me as much as VX did during NBC training and why I never trusted a noddy suit.

I'm surprised at the comments that this sort of disposal can be considered normal practice.
It's 'normal', but not legal. Just a nightmare to find out whodunnit, and whether its stupidity, error or flytipping.
There's dozens of incidents of similar scale every year. 2010 figures show 694 Class 1 and 2 (BAD!) cases in England and Wales. (page 39-40)
http://data.defra.gov.uk/env/doc/Environmental Statistics key facts 2012.pdf

This stuff is often chemically very similar to nerve agent. Organophosphates were designed as insecticides, before their military uses were taken up. But it terms of body mass, the amount to take out a caddis fly is much less than a person, but you can and do lose whole stretches of river ecology.
 
#7
I got taught over 20 years ago that the biggest source of pollution from herbicides was domestic dumpers.
And DDT is detectable in all organisms but i read that one from something the Chemical Abstracts Service did years ago.
 
#8
I recall the look of shear terror and deathly shade of white a former manager went after we spent all day emptying out the dirty paint thinners from the mixing shed down the drain, when 2 days later Welsh Water the NRA and the local Police turned up to investigate where the chemical spill had originated from!
 
#18
I did have a cunning idea to get rid of them which involved the use of an auger, a can of fly spray and a flare... but I haven't been able to get hold of a suitable auger.



Also I'd like someone else to try it first to see if it actually works. And is survivable.
 
#19
I did have a cunning idea to get rid of them which involved the use of an auger, a can of fly spray and a flare... but I haven't been able to get hold of a suitable auger.



Also I'd like someone else to try it first to see if it actually works. And is survivable.
Wear your noddy suit as well.
 

Latest Threads