Poisonous substance in River Pool by Sainsbury's Bridge, Bell Green

Although it’s not in SE23 I know a lot of local people visit the River Pool and use Riverview Walk and the Linear Park. The Friends of River Pool have posted on their Facebook site today that the river has been poisoned by a blue gel type substance from around Sainsburys Bridge which has killed many of the fish in the river. Thames Water and the Environment Agency are investigating but we are being warned to keep dogs and children out of the water downstream.

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Hope this clears quickly and also doesn’t affect water birds and especially the heron, egrets and kingfishers that feed on the fish.


I seem to recall blue unpleasantness being seen in the river before. Something to do with the gasworks maybe?

Wasn’t there a lot of milk or something released at some point by a supermarket down the wrong drain - it was something strange but thankfully quick - this seems worse.

Awful that all the fish have died. One report says something happened upstream, around Cator Park. It also sounds a bit like blue-green algae which can kill fish through oxygen depletion.

I’m hoping all the rain this morning helps to clean up the river and so it can start to recover.

How horrible :frowning: I hope the wildlife can recover. The River Pool has been one of my favourite local walks over the past year, and seeing the fish, birds and insects has been wonderful.

Years ago arsenic from the old gasworks used to leak into the river. Some dogs swam in the river and died. Hopefully, all the old poison was removed when the old gasworks were redeveloped for the shopping complex.

This seems fairly similar and happened 17 or so years ago now - I guess at least the river rebounded:

Blue colour pollution with an odour, near Cator Park. I walked by the Pool River today and it was flowing fast and clear. Update here.


It’s not the first time something dodgy has been found in the Pool River.


Glad it’s been cleared up so quickly.

I remember being party to a conversation with someone knowledgeable about the Waterlink Way a few years ago who said those rivers are actually stocked with new fish every year, so hopefully it’s not as catastrophic as it could have been.