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A serious pollution incident occurred in the River Kennet at Marlborough on 1st July 2013.

A small amount of the deadly organophosphate poison chlorpyrifos found its way into the river near Marlborough.

This caused the death of aquatic invertebrates downstream from Marlborough as far as Hungerford and beyond.

Riverfly counts carried out by ARK volunteers in August already showed an increase in the invertebrate population, but natural recovery was expected to take several years.

On 18th September 2013 a group of volunteers embarked on a program to help the river recover quicker. A team from Action for the River Kennet (ARK) and Savernake Flyfishers worked alongside scientists from University College London to move mayfly, caddisfly and freshwater shrimps from healthy stretches of the river to those where the riverfly had been killed.

See: "Hunt is on to find canal's polluters", NWN 23rd July 2013.

Regretably, the investigations did not determine the exact source of the poisoning although it was known to have arrived in the river via the Marlborough sewage treatment works.

See also:

- Hungerford Fish Mortality, 1998