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The charity making life better by water

Charity dealing with mystery pollution along Worcester canal

We are calling on the people of Worcester to turn detective and help find the source of reoccurring oil pollution on the Worcestershire & Birmingham Canal.

Shiny oil on water

Working in partnership with the Environment Agency, we have spent the last few weeks trying to find the source of pollution which is on the canal between Sidbury Lock 3 and Blockhouse Lock 4 in the centre of Worcester. The pollution, which is characterised as a rainbow sheen on the water accompanied by a smell of fuel, is proving difficult to trace with investigations into its source so far drawing a blank.

Monitoring the canal

Our Environmental experts are regularly monitoring this stretch of canal to ensure the pollution is having minimal impact on the local wildlife. The team is also using absorbent mats to soak up and remove as much of the oil as possible from the water.

Alex May, environmental scientist at Canal & River Trust, said: “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 has seen anyone dump something into the canal.

“Unfortunately, we have found a small number of dead fish along this stretch of canal so we're really keen to get to the bottom of this and find the source to ensure no more wildlife is harmed.

“Research shows that spending time next to water makes us all happier and healthier so its important we look after for our canals, and the wildlife that lives along it, to ensure they are great places for local people to visit and enjoy.”

If you would like to share any information on this, please call us on 03030 404040 or email [email protected]

Kingfisher in flight with small fish in its beak

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Last Edited: 06 April 2021

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