Pollution levels fall after cyanide spill at Shipley Country Park

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Levels of contamination in a pond at Shipley Country Park are continuing to reduce after last week’s liquid cyanide spillage, according to council leaders.

About 400 litres of the chemical spilled from a delivery truck at an industrial unit on Adam’s Close and into Adam’s Pond – killing fish and potentially other pond life.

While the park remains open and safe to use, visitors are being warned to keep out of the pond and nearby Osborne’s Pond.

Dr Sophia Makki, consultant in communicable disease control at Public Health England, East Midlands, said: “The concentration levels of cyanide in the pond pose a very low risk to public health. As a precautionary measure we are advising the public to avoid any contact with the water until all testing is complete.”

The Environment Agency is monitoring the water quality. Results from samples taken show that while there are traces of cyanide in Osborne’s Pond the level of contamination is low and the concentration of the chemical in both ponds is becoming more diluted. Greg Oakes, area duty manager from the Environment Agency, said: “We put bags of activated carbon in place to help filter cyanide out of the water. The best course of action minimising risk to people and the environment is to wait for it to break down naturally and the recent heavy rain has helped with that process.

“Clearly there has been a lot of damage to Adam’s Pond although we believe some fish may have survived. There are no signs of damage to fish stocks in Osborne’s Pond at the moment but we’ll continue to monitor and look for effects.”

A report has confirmed there is no significant risk to other wildlife which may have eaten dead fish. The Environment Agency plans to contact businesses on the nearby industrial estate in the coming months to identify any pollution risks.