An unknown amount of fuel is believed to have leaked into the River Wey, near Stoke Mill, following a report that in excess of 14,000 litres of diesel were stolen.
Surrey Police confirmed officers were called to a bus depot on Leas Road in Guildford shortly before 5am on April 22. The reported theft is believed to have occurred between midnight and 4am.
Police believe an unknown amount of fuel leaked into the River Wey during the theft. While the environment agency says there is no report of wildlife being affected yet, but its impact is being evaluated.
Emma Pengelly, reporter for SurreyLive, was at the scene. She said: “When I got here at about 2pm I saw three Environment Agency cars all leaving the site. They had been here since 10am.
“The first thing was a really strong smell of fuel or diesel which was pungent in the air. They had put bungs in the water to collect the diesel.
“The square absorbent patches, which were white, are now turning yellow and brown, having soaked up the fuel.”
The target of the reported theft was the Arriva UK bus depot on Leas Road, Guildford.
A spokesperson for Arriva UK said: “We can confirm that there was a break-in at our Guildford Depot last night. This matter has been reported to the Police and we will do everything we can to assist them and other local authorities with their investigations.”
SurreyLive understands that the River Wey has been affected from Stoke Mill to Stoke Lock, which are half a mile away from each other.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “Following a fuel theft from the Arriva bus depot in Guildford, diesel has leaked into the River Wey.
“We are on site to minimise the effects of the spillage and are working to contain the spill by using oil booms. We have had no reports as yet of wildlife being affected.
SurreyLive email updates: We bring the stories to you
Signing up to the SurreyLive newsletter means you’ll receive our daily news email.
It couldn’t be simpler and it takes seconds – simply press here, enter your email address and follow the instructions.
You can also enter your address at the top of this page in the box below the picture on most desktop and mobile platforms.
Changed your mind? There’s an ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of every newsletter we send out.
“If members of the public suspect pollution they should please phone our 24-hour free incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”
Dog walkers should avoid the area and if you see any wildlife in the river looking distressed, call the RSPB (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds).
The Environment Agency also tweeted about the incident on Twitter. The tweet reads: “Following fuel theft from the Arriva bus depot in #Guildford, diesel has leaked into the #Wey.
“We are on site to minimise the effects of the spillage and are working to contain the spill by using oil booms. No reports of wildlife being affected.”
This remains under investigation. If you have any information which could help, contact Surrey Police quoting PR/ 45210041104 through Webchat, online or calling 101.
To give information anonymously, call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.