Environmental officials are investigating after 3,500 litres of oil leaked into a river in Wales, stretching over almost a kilometre, with dead fish and an oily sheen on top of the water.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said the source of the spill was identified in the Cwm Beth tributary near Crickhowell, Powys, but it has since worked its way down stream to the main River Usk.
NRW was alerted on Thursday by the local fire brigade as well as local people, who reported a strong odour coming from the river.
“We are doing all we can to stop the pollution and to reduce its impact on fish and other wildlife which depend on it, as well as the local community who are being affected,” Rhys Hughes, of NRW, said.
Responding to a user on Twitter who enquired about the cause of the spillage, NRW said on Friday “it came from disused oil tank”, but no official statement has been made. “We are cleaning as much as we can and investigating further,” it added.
Although the officers were making efforts to prevent further oil from reaching the river and the surrounding area, the leakage had also affected nearby gardens according to NRW.
“Our officers have already spotted a few dead fish in the river, but we’re expecting to see more as the pollution moves through the system,” Hughes said.
“Our team have put booms in place in the Cwm Beth to soak up as much of the pollution as possible.
“Our fisheries specialists are also currently conducting a full assessment of the river to help us determine the impact on the wildlife in the river.”