Water pollution at Wigan beauty spot ruled out

Some of the Environment Agency samples taken in and around Orrell Water Park
Some of the Environment Agency samples taken in and around Orrell Water Park

Experts have allayed fears that a stream leading to a Wigan beauty spot contains dangerous pollutants.

The Environment Agency was called in amid claims that a septic tank from a nearby housing estate was leaching into a stream and that in turn was contaminating the lakes at Orrell Water Park.

It had been alleged that zinc was present in the toxic stream and this had led to fish being killed at the popular angling venue and to the poisoning of several pet dogs, at least one of which had died.

The brook in question runs alongside the new housing estate on the site of the former Billinge Hospital and there was a lot of social media speculation that it was somehow to blame.

But after extensive testing of stream samples and the contents of the ponds themselves, the EA has come back to give it a clean bill of health.

Jen Hall, EA Lancashire Environment Management Team Leader, said: “After last week’s report of potential pollution in the watercourse leading into Orrell Water Park, the EA team have completed a number of tests to water samples from different locations within the area.

“The results came back today and have shown no elevated levels of pollutants including zinc.

“We’d like to thank members of the public for raising their concerns with us and continue to urge anyone to report potential land or water pollution to our 24-hour hotline on 0800 807060.”

The agency had been notified by a member of the public last week of potential pollution in the watercourse leading to the park.

It said it had responded quickly and sent scientists down to the site, saying its priority was to protect people and the environment from any potential damage.

Local councillor Michael Winstanley had hoped that the EA investigations would get to the bottom of what had caused the fish and dogs to die so that relevant action could be taken.

But people are none the wiser after the testing drew a blank.