Cambridgeshire

Alert over suspected Peterborough river chemical spill

The Environment Agency is warning people to stay away from a Peterborough river because of a suspected chemical spill at the weekend.

The agency has taken samples from the River Nene near Orton Southgate to see if chemicals seeped into the water.

The chemicals, although highly diluted by the river, could be a potential irritant to people, a spokesman said.

The agency also said it was not able to link the incident to reports of fish struggling or dying in the water.

River users and the Health Protection Agency have also been alerted.

"We cannot link a report of chemicals spilled at Orton Southgate but the chemicals are toxic to fish," Environment Agency's Manfai Tang said.

"Although very unlikely to cause a problem for people due to the dilution, we are advising them to stay away from the water as a precaution.

"There is no sign of pollution at the moment but we have eliminated other causes such as low dissolved oxygen and ammonia.

"The river is flowing fast at the moment as we have had a lot of rain which will, of course, help to dilute any pollution."

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