Worcester & Birmingham Canal's mysterious pollution

Published: Thursday, 08 April 2021

THE public are being asked to help investigate a mysterious pollution in the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

The pollution has appeared between Sidbury Lock (3) and Blockhouse Lock (4) in Worcester in the form of a rainbow sheen on the water accompanied by the smell of fuel, Alan Tilbury reports.

No success

It is Canal & River Trust that is calling on residents to help investigate the pollution as it has had no success whatsoever in tracing its source.

Environmental experts from the trust are regularly monitoring the pound between the locks but have no idea where the pollution originates, and in an attempt to minimise its effect have placed absorbent mats on the water in an attempt to soak up and remove what is believed to be oil.

'Scratching our heads'

Alex May, Environmental Scientist explained:

“This pollution really has got us scratching our heads. Normally it’s fairly straightforward to trace where pollution has come from as you would find evidence of a spill from a local drain as it discharges into the canal.

"These drains are supposed to be for clean rainwater, but sometimes wrongly connected drains can lead to pollution problems.

"Everything we’ve investigated so far hasn’t pointed to the source so we’re asking for local people to tell us if they know anything or have seen anyone dump something into the canal.

Dead fish

The spill is affecting wildlife as a number of dead fish have been discovered in the pound, so the trust want this problem solved before more harm is done.