Friday, August 17, 2012

Fens get off lightly - despite fish kill in the Delph

We've got off lightly this summer. Just imagine what the drought they were predicting a few short months ago would have done to some of our drains and rivers, caught in a perfect storm of farmers abstracting the maximum water to try and save their crops, as the system cried out for rain.

While water levels have recovered, there's water on the Ouse Washes where the recent heatwave's fueled an algal bloom and made sodden vegetation turn to rot.

Now that foul water's started to find its way into the Delph, where another crisis looms. EA workers saw dead and dying fish in the Delph around Welches Dam on Wednesday. They've heaved in peroxide and deployed aerators to try and boost oxygen levels. It looks like they've got there in the nick of time, but the devil's in the detail as they say.

For they reckon it's going to take another three weeks for the remaining water on the Ouse Washes to clear, meaning a lot more de-oxygenated water could find its way into the Delph. Both the Delph and neighbouring Old Bedford are prone to fish kills at this time of year.

So far, the Delph appears to be an isolated case - meaning the rest of the system may well survive what's likely to be a short-lived heatwave unscathed. Let's hope so, podnas.  

+++Click here for schematics and maps of the Bedford system.

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