Chucking stuff down the drain

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Mikal, Aug 28, 2013.

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  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.
  3. Fnd who did it and make them drink the stuff.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Situation normal, apart from it happened on the Minister's doorstep, and got in the news.
  5. 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. 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)

    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!
  9. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    It's amazing what pops up out of the drains, as well.
  10. **** off.
  11. Politicians and Dashing_Chap - to name but 2 sorts of pest.
  12. i never put any live rounds or empty cases down the drain it was the neighbour honest and he had a FAC so bound to be him.
  13. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    have we had a vote in parliament as to whether we should bomb the miscreant when we work out who did it?
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Reminds me of a few year back around here, a factory disposed of acid into the drains. They found out who did it by tracing the eroded drains back to the factory.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. I think the important thing is that the stuff clearly works.

    Where can I get hold of some of it to use on wasps?