Environmental and major water pollution

This could be a biological substances release or a pollution incident impacting on controlled watercourses, such as a chemical spillage or release or untreated sewage.

Negative effects might include:

  • Ill health.
  • Persistent and/or extensive negative effects on water quality.
  • Damage to wildlife and the environment.
  • Economic effects to agriculture and tourism economy.

Who can be affected?

Those at risk of contamination include:

  • Public using the amenity.
  • Businesses operating on or by the immediate watercourse and downstream of the occurrence.
  • Providers of drinking water using abstracted water.
  • The aquatic environment.

What are we doing in County Durham and Darlington?

We work together to:

  • Understand the risks.
  • Reduce the risk through provision of advice and regulation.
  • Develop multi-agency plans for sites and situations posing a risk to the environment.
  • Test and exercise those plans.
  • Look out for and observe advice and guidance from the NHS, water companies and Environment Agency.
  • If you are vulnerable, register with your water company as a vulnerable customer.
  • If you see anything that poses a risk or notice a pollution incident, notify the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60.

Where can you get further information?