Doubts have emerged about the cause of death of substantial numbers of fish at Roding Valley Lake on Friday. Initially it was believed that a sewage pipe running under the lake was the probable cause. After extensive investigations over the weekend, Thames Water and the Environment Agency have been unable to confirm a leak. A new theory that the death of the fish may have been caused by a natural event is now being explored.
Tests of the water showed very low levels of oxygen in parts of the lake while other areas were almost normal. Initially, organic dye tests to find the exact location of any leaks have proved inconclusive. Further dye and water tests are being carried out.
Thames Water and Environment Agency officials have not ruled out the possibility of a sewage leak but are now suggesting that there may be a natural cause for the sharp and sudden drop in oxygen levels in parts of the lake. Among the theories being explored is the possibility that large amounts of algae may have been affected by recent weather conditions, leading to the oxygen imbalance.
Aeration of the lake has continued as the organisations battle to save as many fish as possible.
Councillor Mitch Cohen, Epping Forest District Council`s new Leisure and Young People Portfolio Holder said: The events of the last 72 hours have been very distressing. The area is a beautiful setting regularly enjoyed by residents of all ages as well as being a haven for wildlife. Everyone who loves Roding Valley will be upset by the scenes.
Councillor Cohen continued: Sadly, the experts at the Environment Agency are telling us that this kind of thing can happen anywhere and suddenly but on a more optimistic note there is no reason to believe the lake will not completely recover. We will continue to post information updates on the Council website as and when we hear anything new.
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