A PETERSFIELD stream thought to be badly polluted has been given the all clear by water and environmental agencies after extensive testing.

But despite the reassurances that Tilmore Brook isn’t polluted, further tests were carried out on Monday (April 10) by Environment Agency (EA) scientists.

AN EA spokesman said that after the first tests the agency was happy that what appeared to be man-made pollution was caused naturally.

But he added that to be on the safe side further test were being carried out on the stream, which runs alongside a footpath parallel to Barnfield Road.

The alarm was raised after residents and children reported that the stream that is a tributary of the River Rother was badly polluted.

Petersfield resident and a volunteer with the Friends of Petersfield Heath Melanie Oxley was among the first to spot what she thought was pollution in the water.

She said it looked as though it contained a “horrible cocktail” of pollution, including fat and other effluent, which she said could have been poisonous to children, dogs and wildlife.

Four youngsters walking their dog along the riverbank on Saturday (April 8) were also horrified by the look of the river.

One 13-year-old said: “The water was almost orange in places, it looked polluted, and we didn’t let our dog go in swimming.”

Initially there were fears that contaminated water from nearby houses was finding it’s way into the stream, so household water supplier Southern Water (SW) carried out the first round of testing.

An SW spokesman said: “Our specialist spent several days carrying out extensive testing and checking nearby assets for any issues and we are pleased to report this is a natural occurrence and we have found no connection with our network (of drains).

“Our sampling showed there were no traces of ammonia, which indicated his was a caused by a breakdown of natural elements such as vegetation.

“In addition a large branch in the stream meant the water was not able flow away quickly, which led to a significant build up of silt and rotting plants.

“Our technician cleared the obstruction and we hope this will help to alleviate the issue.”