Drought, illegal waste and farming drive up serious pollution incidents

Serious pollution incidents were up 27% last year compared to 2017, according to newly published Environment Agency figures, which attribute part of the rise to exceptionally dry conditions.

Illegal waste activities, legitimate waste management and farming were to blame for over half of the 533 most serious incidents – those in categories 1 or 2. 

A third of the increase on 2017 figures was due to dry weather, the EA states, which “can cause low water levels in rivers, lakes and ponds causing fish overcrowding and vulnerability to disease and predators”. It can also lead to more algal bloom incidents and greater surface run-off if drought is followed by heavy rainfall. 

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