River Lea pollution: 40,000 litres of oily water removed – but rubbish bags still uncollected weeks on

Uncollected rubbish by the River Lea.

Uncollected rubbish by the River Lea. - Credit: Archant

Forty thousand litres of oily water have been removed from the River Lea following a major pollution outbreak last month.

The Environment Agency told the Gazette it had yet to confirm where the leak on February 11 had originated, but said it was making good progress.

Boaters pitched up to help with the clean-up operation after the waterway was placed in lockdown the full length of Hackney.

But as of this week their bags of oily rubbish and even animal carcasses had yet to be collected despite assurances from the EA. A spokesman said they would be picked up this week.

The oily water is classed as a form of waste, he added, and will be treated at a facility in Essex.

“The oil will be separated from the water,” he said, “and then moved to a site for other uses such as fuel.

“Then the water will be treated before being disposed of in the foul sewer.”