Students and instructors at the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center made an alarming discovery Wednesday morning: a large fish kill near their section of the creek.
“There’s about 300 dead fish in our section of the creek, which is a huge impact for this kind of small creek,” said Sonjay Singh, a junior teacher with the center in West Philadelphia. Singh and colleagues decided to run water tests to determine what killed the fish.“At one point that there was a very high level of chlorine dumped into the creek,” said 15-year-old student Kamal Gatewood. “There were a lot of phosphates and chloroform bacteria in the water as well.”The group traced the source of the toxins to a nearby community swimming pool drainage pipe. The pipe had been disconnected because of construction being done by the water department.They contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, which confirms chlorine was the culprit. However, DEP representative Deborah Fries said other factors might have contributed to the fish kill. The investigation is ongoing.