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EMA: Low oxygen level killed fish

Published: 
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) has concluded that thousands of fish died in the Macoya River owing to a lack of oxygen.

Residents and gardeners last week reported schools of dead fish which they believe were a result of a chemical spill by a factory in Macoya.

Gardeners complained that they were not sure if the water was safe to use for gardening and watering their crops.

A statement from the EMA yesterday said industrial facilities within proximity of the river showed no evidence of discharges of pollutants into the Macoya River. Testing of the water revealed low levels of dissolved oxygen which could be linked to the cause of death of the fish; and investigations also revealed that a sluice gate system in the area is used to manage the flow and levels of water within the river. This gate was closed approximately two weeks ago and may be the reason for the low levels of dissolved oxygen in the river.

These preliminary findings have been shared with all relevant governmental authorities associated with activities in the area to sensitize them to the importance of the water course for all users, the statement said.

A final report on this investigation will be prepared and findings shared with relevant governmental authorities.

The river originates in the Northern Range and drains into the Caura Valley. It passes through Macoya in the East-West Corridor before joining the Caroni River.

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