A large quantity of manure has leaked into the Petite Nèthe river, in the Antwerp region, following a technical glitch at the Vilatca veal farm. Kasterlee local authorities note a high level of pollution in the river with many fish found dead. Bathing downriver is not advisable. In early 2013, 5 million litres of manure from the same company also spilled into the river. A dam was put in place to divert the manure into a tank if ever there was a problem. But according to local authorities, a pipe from this tank is sticking out, officially to run off rainwater. But the result is that manure has again ended up in the river.
The spillage took place several days ago but the first samples were not cause for concern. Heat led to a proliferation of bacteria in the manure. This, added to the relatively low water level, means fish do not have enough oxygen to survive.