People and pets are advised to avoid a river after pollution has been found pouring into a river after heavy rainfall.

The River Roding has had oil pouring into it from a surface water pipe near bridge by the junction of Chigwell Lane and the M11 in Debden.

Thames Water which owns the pipe has repeatedly flushed water through it and caught any oil on the river’s surface with a boom.

An Epping Forest District Council spokeswoman said: “While much of the pollution is being contained near the outlet some is being swept further downstream.

“The pollution will get diluted however as a precautionary measure the public are advised to keep children and dogs out of the water until further notice.”

In a statement the Environment Agency, which is overseeing the management of the incident, said: “We do not believe Thames Water could have done anymore to mitigate the problem and hopefully the next few rainfall events should clear any residual pollution.

The site was last inspected by the agency on Wednesday when pollution was still entering the river.