Southern Water has confirmed that Isle of Wight water supplies, which sometimes come from Hampshire's River Test, are not affected by a diesel pollution problem.

When needed, one third of the Island's water can be piped under the Solent, from the utility firm's Testwood Supply Works in Totton.

There has been controversy over a fuel leak that has affected nearby Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust's Lower Test Nature Reserve.

Southern Water says its water plant is in a different part of the river and is has reassured Islanders that there are currently 'weeks' of water reserves here already, so there is no need for a transfer from the mainland at the current rate of demand.

Meanwhile, the Trust says wildlife is suffering, wildfowl have been covered in fuel oil and a cygnet and fish have died as a result of the pollution.

It slammed the response to the leak of diesel from an adjacent industrial estate, after heavy rain.

A Trust spokesperson said: "This is completely unacceptable in one of the country's most significant chalk rivers.

"Lower Test Nature Reserve is an incredibly special reserve, home to a diverse array of species, including rare birds such as osprey and marsh harriers.

"It is creating long-lasting damage to the protected habitats as well as directly impacting a wide range of species and important habitats.

"Over the past few months we have repeatedly contacted the relevant authorities, asking them to make identifying the source and cleaning up the diesel pollution a priority.

"The response so far has been inadequate.”

The reserve is a Ramsar site, a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Special Protection Area (SPA).

Southern Water says it is working hard to mitigate the environmental impact of the fuel leak, which it is not responsible for.

The problem, it says, was first detected on June 15, in a report to the Environment Agency.

It says it has been maintaining drains and has booms in place to prevent the escape of run off and debris.

It says it is also using specialist equipment to remove and clean contaminated water for re-introduction to the river.

On Friday (July 3), the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said Southern Water’s Emergency Team had visited the site 'to replace the booms and install a more robust system' to try and control the fuel oil.

The Trust’s CEO, Debbie Tann, has written to the CEO of Southern Water and the Area Director for the Environment Agency and a meeting is being arranged to look at putting in place a long-term solution.

It says it wants the problem dealt with quickly and an assurance it won't happen again.