Businesses called on to clean up act

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BUSINESSES in Cramlington are being urged to clean up their act and stop polluting a stream running past an industrial estate.

The Environment Agency believes that one of the main causes of pollution of Horton Burn is contaminants getting into surface water drains on a nearby industrial estate.

The pollution watchdog has been advising businesses on the estate how to avoid oils, solvents and inks getting into the stream, but the problem persists.

The agency visited 80 businesses there last year to raise awareness of the problem and offer advice on preventing pollution getting into surface water drains.

A recent survey revealed the majority of businesses have made improvements to minimise pollution getting into the burn.

These include installing barriers in front of drains and training staff about the correct way to dispose of oils and solvents.

However, the problem has yet to be fully resolved, according to the agency, as oil was reported in the burn over the Christmas period.

Environment officer Mel George said: “It’s our job to stop pollution of Horton Burn.

“We want to try to work with businesses on the industrial estate to improve their current practices and prevent future pollution.

“The results of our work show that this has had a positive impact, but there is still work to do as the recent pollution incident shows.

“We will carry on this work until the problem is resolved.”

The team is now working with Northumbrian Water to investigate whether pollution is finding its way into the stream through the sewer network.

Anyone who sees pollution in the burn is asked to report it to the agency on 0800 807060.