Garstang Town Council releases Lancaster Canal pollution update

Dead fish found could be because of recently experienced warm weather via Facebook: Stuart Milne

Garstang Town Council has issued a statement following the pollution incident in Lancaster Channel where a number of dead fish were spotted.


The update says that over the past two weeks, Canal and River Trust (CRT) crews have been working hard to minimize the impacts of the pollutant.

The council’s statement says the pollution event had a massive impact on wildlife and site management:

“In terms of actions to manage impacts to the site and to clean the channel of pollutant, this was a significant pollution event which unfortunately impacted wildlife along the channel through Garstang, including in the marina.

Read more: Extreme heat blamed for dead fish in Lancaster Channel near Preston

Recent Lancaster Canal photo enhancements via Facebook: Michael Rhodes
Recent Lancaster Canal photo enhancements via Facebook: Michael Rhodes

“The initial impact of pollution was to lower dissolved oxygen to a level that could no longer support fishing. So our first response was to send in specialist contractors to deploy aeration equipment to improve oxygen levels in the water.

“The area of ​​water affected is approximately 1.5 km long and pumping this amount of water was considered impractical.”

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The CRT has worked alongside the Environment Agency (EA) undertaking activities such as the deployment of pumps and aerators as wildlife has been mainly affected by the lack of oxygen in the water, continues the press release:

“Pumps and aerators have been deployed fore and aft of the polluted section to try and increase oxygen levels in the water and encourage mixing which should in turn help to dilute black water and reduce odor.

“Trust staff continued this aeration effort as the pollution moved through the canal. As the fish were dying, this action undoubtedly saved a large number of fish. Unfortunately we were aware of the dead otters. The fauna was mainly affected by the lack of oxygen in the water. This is managed by a combination of increasing oxygen levels and encouraging clean water mixing.

“The Trust has worked with EA in response to this incident both on the ground and behind the scenes, undertaking activities such as signposting, collection of wildlife that have perished and has implemented a program of water quality monitoring throughout Garstang.

“This has enabled both the Trust and EA to predict further potential impacts and implement necessary actions. Water quality monitoring shows the location of areas with water levels. oxygen levels. Aeration is concentrated at these sites. The basin of the tithe barn has not been identified, to date, as a target location.

“This action will continue until we are satisfied that the water chemistry has returned to normal levels. The results to date are promising, showing that water quality is slowly recovering through degradation natural biological and chemical.

“It seems to naturally dilute and the aeration has increased the dissolved oxygen levels in the water. Working with the EA, we are monitoring the water quality as it moves. Everything what we are doing is preventing further impact on the environment.The Ribble Estuary is a significant distance from Garstang pollution.

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The environment agency having already identified the source of the pollution, which is agricultural, the team is now putting together a legal action file. People are urged to contact EA directly for more information regarding the survey.

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