Sewage plant discharge killed the fish in the canals

Published: Wednesday, 29 April 2009
IT HAS been discovered that it was a discharge from a Severn Trent Water sewage plant that was responsible for thousands of dead fish in eight miles of the Shropshire Union and Staffs & Worcester canals, Alan Tilbury reports. Anglers, assisted by boaters and others, have been dragging out the dead fish from the waterways, now estimated at well over 2,000.It has been confirmed that it was a week ago that a toxic substance leaked into the water, and spread throughout the two canals.

Severn Trent Water could now face legal action, with a dossier being compiled by Fish Legal, which fights against water pollution.

The Environment Agency discovered the source of the pollution, and it is believed that it was ammonia that was discharged into the canal network after leaking into the treatment works.

Alan Gough, of Wolverhampton Angling Association, complained:

“There are so many fish still being found. There’s a lot of heron in the canals so we want people to report it if they see any birds have been affected by this.

He confirmed that information was being gathered by Fish Legal such as how the canal was before and what it is like now, and that the matter will go to court.

Fresh water is now being pumped into contaminated stretches of The Staffs & Worcs Canal from the Belvide Reservoir at Penkridge, in an attempt to dilute the pollution, with both the Environment Agency and British Waterways monitoring the situation.