Raw sewage seeping into Wigan's streams

Sewage and waste at Hey Brook
Sewage and waste at Hey Brook

Shocking pictures have emerged revealing the devastating levels of pollution building up in Wigan’s waterways.


Concerned resident, Wilf Pugh, took the shots while he was out walking his dog along Hey Brook in Abram where he discovered vast amounts of waste collecting along the stretch of water.

Sewage and waste at Hey Brook

Sewage and waste at Hey Brook

He immediately contacted the Environment Agency, raising fears that “raw sewage” was leaking into the stream, killing the fish and harming other wildlife.

“This has been going on for years,” he said. “In years gone by it used to get removed.

“The water leads towards Lightshaw Meadow which is a nature reserve, and it’s all stacking up down there. There used to be fish in there.

“Now, the wildlife, including the fish are dying and, seeing there is now raw sewage, there is a risk to humans.

Sewage and waste at Hey Brook

Sewage and waste at Hey Brook

“The pollution is also threatening Lightshaw Meadow nature reserve.

“There is about half a mile, leading to the nature reserve, where all of this rubbish is gathering at different points.”

Wilf initially contacted Wigan Council but was told that the responsibility for cleaning up any pollution in the waterways lies with the Environment Agency and the Canal and River Trust.

A spokesperson for the EA, said: “We are aware of reports of possible pollution in and around Hey Brook, Abram in Wigan and we are working with our partners at the Canal and Rivers Trust, who maintain the debris screen, in order to get the screen cleared and investigate the issue further.

Sewage and waste at Hey Brook

Sewage and waste at Hey Brook

“It is not yet clear if the substance noted in the water is a sewer discharge but if confirmed, this would fall under the responsibility of the utility company to resolve.

“We would like to thank the member of the public who reported this to us.

“The people in our communities across Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire are our eyes and ears on the ground and we always encourage anyone who spots anything
unusual in their local watercourses to report it to our incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

“Reporting issues of pollution allows us to respond quickly to protect people and the environment and to reduce any possible impact incidents may have.”