From the minutes of the Croydon Rural District Council
1902 to 1903
17th April 1902
4. POLLUTION OF WANDLE : MITCHAM GAS CO.
—Inspector Rabbetts reported
—That in consequence of repeated complaints by Mr. T. Harris, a watercress grower, of High Street, Colliers-wood, of the polluted state of the water in the river at various times. He has kept observation on the outlet of the Western Road surface water sewer which is at the end of Phipp’s Bridge Road, opposite the ” Albion ” Public House. He has noticed various colored liquids flowing through at times, particularly on a Wednesday and Thursday morning, but had not been able to discover the source of pollution until Wednesday morning, the 9th April, when he noticed a strong smell of coal gas at the outlet of the sewer. He had the manhole covers taken off and found the effluent being discharged from the Mitcham Gas Works was highly charged with gas. He took a sample of the effluent and showed it to Mr. Green, junior, son of the Gas Works Manager, who admitted the gas present in the sample was strong, and thought there must be a leakage in their mains. He promised to look into the matter. Inspector Rabbetts would be glad to know the Council’s views as to what steps should be taken to prevent a recurrence of the offence.
Resolved, That the Gas Co. be informed that proceedings will be taken under the Public Health Act should any repetition of the offence occur.
Minutes of meetings held by the Croydon Rural District Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.