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Clean-up removes 400,000 litres of oily water from Poole Harbour after spill

More than 400,000 litres of oily water have been removed from Poole Harbour (Ben Birchall/PA)
Ben Mitchell, PA

A total of 417,000 litres of oily water and 300 bags of waste have been collected as part of the clean-up operation following the oil leak in Poole Harbour.

About 200 barrels of reservoir fluid made up of 85% water and 15% oil were released into Ower Bay last month from q pipeline operated by gas company Perenco, prompting a major containment and clean-up operation to protect the sensitive natural habitats in the area.

Now, Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) have said that “good progress” is being made and no oil had been spotted outside of the harbour.

At least 30 oiled birds have been spotted since the spill although no “serious” bird casualties had been reported, the PHC has said previously.

Poole oil spill
Oil was visible in the water of Poole Harbour, Dorset, after the leak (Ben Birchall/PA)

A spokesman for PHC said that the clean-up operation was continuing and although people can enter water in the area and continue fishing, shellfishing was advised against because of health concerns.

He said: “Good progress has continued with the clean-up operation since the Perenco oil spill on March 26.

“Focus is centred around the site of the leak in Ower Bay and a recovery co-ordinating group has been set up to oversee the remediation of the affected area.

“Floating booms remain in place to ensure that oil does not escape in to the wider harbour.

“There have been no reports of any oil outside of Poole Harbour and no reports of oil outside of the contaminated site in Ower Bay since April 3.

“So far, over 300 bags of oil and contaminated materials have been collected from the beaches as well as 417,000 litres of oil and oily water collected to tankers from Ower Bay.

“The clean-up and remediation operation will continue at Ower Bay until the contamination has been fully dealt with.”

He added: “Shellfish harvested from Poole Harbour from Sunday March 26 onwards should not be relayed or marketed.

“This advice regarding shellfish remains unchanged, due to the difference in metabolism between fish and shellfish.”

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