Pollution incident - River Beal in Newhey

Date published: 12 April 2007

For the second time in two years a large scale pollution incident has occurred on the River Beal in Newhey.  In 2005 over 700 fish were killed and United Utilities were subsequently prosecuted.  Fearing a similar incident a local resident reported a discharge of sewage into the river to the Environment Agency at 10.30am on Wednesday 11 April. Discoloured water with a strong odour of sewage was flowing from a pipe into the river. 

Environment Agency inspectors attended and took samples, which have been sent to a laboratory for analysis, and the results are still awaited.

The pipe was still discharging into the river this morning (Thursday 12 April) as attempts to trace the source continued. 

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “Fortunately no fish have been killed on this occasion.

"We worked late into the evening yesterday to try and trace the source and we are attempting to back pump the discharge to prevent further discharge.  Investigations will continue until we are sure of the source and we will then take appropriate action.

There is a low risk to the public but we would advise people not to allow their pets to enter the river.” 

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.