§ Mr. Onslow
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what report he has received from the Thames water authority about the pollution of the Thames tideway on 5 July by the discharge of a large volume of sewage from Thames water authority stormwater outfalls, 11W which caused the deoxygenation of the river over several miles and the elimination of the fish population between Putney and Limehouse; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Gummer
I understand that an unusual set of circumstances arose on 5 July, following an exceptionally heavy rainstorm, which led to an overflow of sewage into the upper tidal Thames. Many fish died as a result, but remedial measures were quickly applied by the Thames water authority. Arrangements are also in hand for the introduction of fresh stocks of fish. According to the authority, full recovery of oxygen levels took 2 to 3 weeks and no long-term effect on fish stocks is expected. Responsibility for the regulations of sewage discharges is, of course, a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment.