River Irwell - Pollution Incident

greenie62

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Salford Friendly AS members alerted their committee members, together with EA and UU officials yesterday afternoon after the Irwell turned white just outside Bury at an outflow which had been previously reported for a similar incident. :eek:



Samples have been taken by the Club as well as those with responsibility for monitoring the outflow. The previous excuse was that 'chalk' had got into the outflow - the sample taken however appeared to have the appearance of an emulsion with 'beading' - a bit like the water that brushes have been washed in. :mad:
Investigations are continuing - with a local company that produces 'white stuff' - a prosecution is hoped for this time which is why I am being cautious about naming specific companies or products! :rolleyes:

SFAS was recently awarded the Fred J Taylor Award for the work it has done on monitoring pollution in the Irwell and helping in the clean-up of the river to make it a promising angling river after years of neglect and abuse by polluters.

Wishing them all the best in their pursuit of those responsible - and hoping that no lasting damage is done. :thumbs:
 
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binka

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That looks awful greenie :eek:

Good luck to them tracing and successfully prosecuting the offender.

Have there been any fish kills reported?
 

greenie62

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Don't know of any fish kills as yet - it'll be monitored downstream to pick any up. The river is quite low at the moment and a bit of rain tonight might help in flushing the stuff through.
The problems may not become apparent for some time if there are any organic substances/toxins which have an effect on fertility or future generations. We already do invertebrate monitoring via kick-sampling and have established baseline population statistics at various points on the river so the results of incidents like this can be quantified.
We have had problems getting prosecutions via EA in the past - a number of them are still sub-judice and consequently we can't get any progress info on them! You can imagine how complicated it gets when UU own the former NW Water and and half their mates now work for EA!
Even they are going to be hard-pushed to hush-up this one! As if! :rolleyes:
 

sumtime

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A river I have never fished, Mike, how was it doing before this incident?
 

greenie62

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A river I have never fished, Mike, how was it doing before this incident?
The fairest description is 'in a state of transition' from being a junk-filled open sewer to potentially a wonderful mixed river with a variety of species!
I usually fish a tributary of the Irwell, that has isolated shoals of roach, chub to 5.5 lbs, and Brownies to 12lbs. I've had trouble getting through the trout to find the chub - tried bread, maggots, worm, cheese paste, pellets, krill paste, combinations of the above - all get trout - usually half-pounders but with the immature finger-marks on their flanks!
One of the problems with the Irwell is that the river is changing constantly and the shoals of fish are migrating up and down the river - so where there were good roach last year, they may be split a mile up and down this year - next year - who knows? There are so many legacy weirs on the river that the fish can't resume their previous beats once they get washed over them in floods or are 'scared-off' by pollution incidents - like this one!
The other big problem that stops it being a fishing paradise is the amount of tipping /dumping and historic junk in the river - as well as the bankside population - both business & domestic - and the totally f-ed-up drainage systems with sewage mixing with surface run-offs, etc. Slowly - it's getting better - then this happens! :eek:mg:
 

greenie62

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Would that be the Co with a Lancastrian name and based behind Elton Reser?
Can't comment about the name, but the incident occurred on the Hinds Lane stretch which is just at the back of Elton Res. :eek:
- Will update with more details when they are released!
 

tigger

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Did anyone see any dead or dying fish ? No doubt there'll be lots even if they go unseen by people.
 

greenie62

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is that the stretch after Radcliffe?
Depends how/where you are travelling - it's the Hinds Rd stretch near Warth Rd Industrial Estate which I think is in the parish of Elton.
 

wes79

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Thanks, I got it up on google from your description.Looks like the company are bang to rights. hope the Roch can water it down/dilute it some, looks like a emulsifier /polar bonding agent.

Hope its not as serious as it looks, that two incidents under a year?
 
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Tee-Cee

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Greenie...slightly off track I know, but I was up your way last week clearing a house and out for a walk break I passed an old, very small pond (sitting in a field) that used to hold some good fish (or so I'm told) and that also looks to be polluted now...

Shevington Moor, Standish Lower Ground, Elnup Wood sort of area....perhaps you know of it?? Used to see several folk fishing it some years ago....
 

greenie62

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Thanks, I got it up on google from your description.Looks like the company are bang to rights. hope the Roch can water it down/dilute it some, looks like a emulsifier /polar bonding agent.
Hope its not as serious as it looks, that two incidents under a year?
Thanks Wes,
Don't know if it's 'under a year' - the previous incident got an EA warning - about a year ago. Timescales appear to have an 'elastic' property to them when EA gets involved - see the FM articles published on this site for criticism of the EA by Fish Legal and the ATr:
The latter includes this:
Cameron Hogg, Solicitor at Fish Legal, said:

“It is hugely disappointing to wait so long for little or nothing to happen. The EA failed the club by delaying with aerators, then again by refusing to do a fish kill assessment, then once more by failing to prosecute. It also took more than seven times longer, at over 91 weeks, to make an enforcement decision, than the EA’s target of 12 weeks. The EA has not given a sensible (or sometimes any) explanation for the actions it refused to take, or its delays. The EA has been given the bullets, but has not pulled the trigger - again.”
I have a lot of sympathy for EA who have a very difficult job to do - including trying to keep us anglers happy :eek: - but there appears to be a discontinuity between the Officers on the ground and the 'back-office' management teams which prepare and prosecute cases against polluters in a timely manner.

There also appears to be a 'culture of silence' whereby pollution incidents - even ones as noticeable as this - are 'hushed-up' thereby playing into the polluters hands hoping it will just 'go away' without further action! This is further compounded by the inability of Clubs and the EA to comment on cases where an Incident is under investigation or under prosecution. :confused: Even when it gets to Law, many cases have been settled out of court but with 'non-disclosure' clauses to protect details which have been deemed to be 'Company Confidential' - so it all goes quiet again!:eek:

It's a shame that EA have to be pursued by Fish Legal in order to do the job they are paid for and - in many cases - the Officers want to do! :eek:mg:
 
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