Page last updated at 11:22 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Streams monitored after lorry sheds beer on M20 in Kent

Beer spillage on the M20 in Kent
Cans and bottles of beer smashed on the M20 when the lorry shed its load

Streams near the M20 in Kent are being monitored for pollution after a lorry containing hundreds of cans and bottles of beer shed its load.

The Environment Agency said a large amount of beer had entered the motorway drains between junctions 12 and 13 of the motorway, near Folkestone.

It said a team was sent to the area following Tuesday's accident to limit the possible effects of the beer.

There was currently no sign of pollution in local streams, it added.

Water quality

"However, the beer may be held back in the motorway drains and could discharge later," spokeswoman Jan Leslie said.

"We will continue to monitor the area and act if any evidence of pollution."

The motorway drains run into a surface water sewer, which runs through Folkestone and discharges into the sea where it is diluted.

But if the beer enters streams or rivers it could kill local wildlife, as well as affecting local water quality.

The Environment Agency said beer had a very high pollution potential as it strips oxygen from water.

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