New pollution fear in blood-red brook

First published in News

PROBLEMS continue at a “polluted” brook — months after residents raised the alarm about it turning blood red.

The Environment Agency launched an investigation earlier this year after walkers reported pungent smells and red and white discolouration of the water at Pennington Brook in Westhoughton .

The pollution, believed to be caused by a rogue trader, appeared to improve but now residents have complained of foam in the water.

The Environment Agency say investigations are continuing and work is still to be carried out.

John Sweeney for the Environment Agency said: “We are continuing to investigate reports of pollution. Water in the brook feeds from covered drains and United Utilities are helping us to gain access through manholes to carry out our investigations.

“We are working with local businesses and some action was taken over the summer to improve water quality in the area, however there is still work to do.

“Public information is vital in helping us to find out the possible causes of this problem.”

Cllr Anna-Marie Watters, who represents Westhoughton South, contacted the Environment Agency after receiving calls from residents.

She said: “The level of pollution is totally unacceptable and I hope that the culprits can be identified and prosecuted. This is not the first time that this has happened and makes it vital that we take enforcement action urgently to allay residents’ concerns.”

Fellow Cllr Kevan Jones said: “It would appear that whenever we get substantial rainfall the problem becomes more acute. However this does not mitigate the problem and needs a quick and permanent resolution.”

The brook runs through Westhoughton from Wingates Industrial Estate, by St Bartholomew’s Churchyard southwards towards Leigh.

Residents who spot any signs of pollution at Pennington Brook are asked to call the Environment Agency on 0800 807060.

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