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15,000 litres of fertiliser spilled into Luxembourg river
River pollution

15,000 litres of fertiliser spilled into Luxembourg river

by Yannick HANSEN 27.04.2021 From our online archive
The spill came after a lorry carrying the chemical crashed nearby
Photo credit: Administration de la gestion de l'eau

Thousands of litres of fertiliser and fuel have spilled into a river in the east of Luxembourg on Tuesday, after the lorry carrying the chemicals crashed.

Some 15,000 litres of fertiliser and hundreds more of fuel emptied into the Ernz Noire, a tributary river of the Sûre which flows through Belgium and northern and eastern Luxembourg.

Fire fighters installed barriers to prevent the spillage from reaching the Sûre just a few hundred metres away, Luxembourg’s water management office said in a press release.

The water and waste water management agencies said they have also put a number of other measures in place to limit the impact of the chemicals on the environment - although they did not specify what these measures were. 

The incident is just one in a number of water pollution problems that have been plaguing Luxembourg over the last few years. 

Ammonia pollution in the Attert river in March this year led to swathes of fish being killed after waste entered the stream following a fire at a gas plant in Grendel, Belgium, just on the border with Luxembourg. 

In a separate incident residents in parts of Luxembourg City in January were advised not to drink their tap water for two days after manganese, a chemical element, leaked into the supply. While an investigation was also launched in March, when pollution was found in the Alzette river on the outskirts of the capital in Hesperange. 

Other instances of the country's water pollution problems include a leak from a wood factory which spilled 150,000 litres of water containing particles of wood, formaldehyde, ammonium nitrates and other chemical components into the Chiers river in Dudelange in April last year, when a valve in a basin at the Gadderscheier industrial zone was opened.

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