Members of the public are being asked by the Environment Agency to help trace pollution that is killing fish in a small Cornish stream.

Agency officers believe a series of pollution incidents are responsible for wiping out fish in a tributary of the Penryn River, part of a European designated Special Area of Conservation.

An investigation was launched on April 24 after a member of the public reported that the stream running beside Greenwood Road, Penryn, had turned foamy and had a strong chemical smell.

The pollution was traced to a culvert that drains from the Kernick Industrial Estate. A sample of the culvert discharge was sent off for laboratory analysis. It smelled strongly of degreasant or disinfectant and was faint reddish orange in colour.

The Environment Agency has received reports of dead fish as far upstream as Greenwood Road and downstream to Truro Lane. Officers have been unable, so far, to pinpoint the source of the mystery pollutant and are appealing to local people for help.

‘Aquatic life is being killed by this pollution. It must be found and stopped. All the signs suggest we are dealing with repeated incidents. It is possible someone is inadvertently  disposing of this pollutant without realising the harm it is causing. Anyone with information is urged to come forward,’ said Redwynn Sterry for the Environment Agency.

Members of the public can either call the Agency’s free 24-hour hotline 0800 80 70 60 or contact Redwynn Sterry on 01208 265 079 during office hours.