Water along 12 miles of River Yealm and River Piall in South Devon turns milky white

  • Watch the Environment Agency inspecting the river

A river in South Devon has turned white with pollution, prompting an investigation by the Environment Agency.

The agency was alerted to the discolouration on the River Yealm yesterday morning (5 December).

It discovered that 12 miles of the watercourse had been contaminated from the River Piall to Plymouth Sound.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: "The Environment Agency has identified the source of the pollution affecting the Rivers Piall and Yealm in South Devon.

The Environment Agency inspecting the river Credit: ITV News

"We are supporting the work to stop the discharge and prevent further material from being washed down the river.

"We have officers at different locations on the river sampling and assessing the impact.

"Fisheries specialists have been on site since early this morning assessing the impact of the pollution on fish and fish habitat.

"This was hampered yesterday by the lack of visibility in the river caused by the pollution.

"More than 12 miles of watercourse have been affected – the River Piall, which enters the Yealm near Cornwood and then flows down to Plymouth Sound.

"We were alerted to the incident by a member of the public yesterday morning (05/12)."

The company posted on Twitter yesterday morning, stating that officers were looking for the source of the pollution.

It also said: "If you have any information that could help, contact our hotline 0800 807060."

The Environment Agency also said it is unable to give details of the alleged source of the pollution because it may result in enforcement action being taken.