WILDLIFE has died after someone poured chlorine into the Pagham Rife.
The Environment Agency confirmed this week it was investigating as it tried to find out how the rife became contaminated.
An area base controller for incident response suggested the contamination was ‘likely’ to have come from someone getting rid of swimming pool water.
Writing on Twitter, area base controller for the Environment Agency’s Dawn Theaker said: “Pool water shouldn’t be released to a river.”
A spokesman for the agency confirmed it spent the weekend investigating how the chlorine got into the rife.
“The incident was reported to us by a member of the public on Saturday who noticed a strong smell of the chemical in the air near a drainage ditch,” he said.
“We have had our specialist officers out at the site to ensure that any impact on the local environment was limited.
“Sadly, as a result of this pollution incident, a couple of small pike have died.
“We believe the discharge has now stopped and there is no longer a threat to the local environment, although our investigations into the incident continue.”
The rife flows into Pagham Harbour, an RSPB nature reserve.
The Environment Agency said it was keen to find out how the chlorine ended up in the water and was still investigating the incident.
Anyone with information on how the contamination occurred should get in touch with the Environment Agency on its 24-hour incident hotline, 0800 807060.