EA investigating another ‘oily’ incident in Horncastle

The Environment Agency has launched an investigation after the 'oily substance' was spotted on the surface of the River Bain. Picture: Amanda Hodgson.
The Environment Agency has launched an investigation after the 'oily substance' was spotted on the surface of the River Bain. Picture: Amanda Hodgson.

The Environment Agency (EA) has launched an investigation after an ‘oily substance’ was spotted on the surface of the River Bain last Wednesday (March 6).

Horncastle resident Amanda Hodgson spotted the substance while walking along the river which flows alongside the Bain (Tesco) car park.

An 'oily substance' appeared on the River Bain. Picture: Amanda Hodgson. EMN-190603-111127001

An 'oily substance' appeared on the River Bain. Picture: Amanda Hodgson. EMN-190603-111127001

Amanda said: “It is not the first time it’s happened - it’s a regular occurrence, but nothing ever gets done about it.

“It’s about time something was done about it as it happens so often.

“The river runs past food outlets which can’t be good for businesses.

“Also children feed the ducks on the steps every day - it’s awful.

“And the poor wildlife is suffering yet again.”

Speaking last Wednesday, an EA spokesperson said: “We take all pollution seriously and aim to protect our environment and hold those who damage it responsible.

“Our officers are on the River Bain responding to reports of an oily substance on the surface of the water.

“This is part of an ongoing investigation, and we’d encourage anyone with information to report it to us swiftly on our incident hotline by calling 0800 80 70 60.

“Every report is valuable – each one helps us get a clearer picture of the situation, and helps inform our investigations.

“Of course, these will take some time to complete as we must be thorough and careful due to the potential for future enforcement or legal action.”

The EA also confirmed that officers visited the site on March 6 to speak with witnesses, and gather any evidence.

According to the EA, officers also carried out inspections of the river downstream and found that the substance was degrading quickly due to the natural processes of the river, such as the current, meaning that the impact on the environment was limited.

A spokesperson confirmed that the EA intended to carry out dye-testing to identify where the substance was coming from, and how it is getting into the water.

The investigation will take some time, but the EA are actively working to reach a conclusion as quickly as possible.

A spokesperson added that until the investigation is complete, there is no way of pre-empting the outcome - for example, by naming potential sources of the pollution.

Amanda Hodgson shared photographs of the ‘oily substance’ on the Horncastle Community Page - with many residents reacting in anger.

Beth Williams said: “This is disgusting. It’s ridiculous. This keeps happening, and it is going to destroy our beautiful wildlife.”

Carole Lee said: “Not again so soon after the last incident.”

The latest incident comes just four months after angry residents demanded action following a previous oil spill in the same stretch of the River Bain.