Environment News

Bilston fire pollution spreads to Wednesfield canal

Thousands of fish have died in Wednesfield due to contamination caused by a recent fire in Bilston.

Update: 10th October

The Express & Star have reported that the contamination has now spread to Short Heath and over 10,000 fish have died.


Thousands of fish have died in Wednesfield after contamination caused by a recent fire in Bilston has spread to the Wyrley and Essington canal.

It’s thought that around 5,000 fish have died as the result of water pollution caused by chemicals entering the canal system after the fire at an industrial site in Millfields Road, Bilston last month.

Both British Waterways and The Environment Agency are working to clean up the contamination which has affected the Birmingham Mainline canal and the Wyrley and Essington canal.

British Waterways spokeswoman Sarah Brudy said: “The chemicals aren’t like oil, they’re dissolved in the water so it’s case of waiting for them to dissolve.”

The leaked chemicals have caused the level of oxygen in the water to drop dramatically and as a result thousands of fish are suffocating.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We are currently aerating the water at a number of sites to contain the incident and prevent further fish mortality.”

Ms Brudy added: “We are hoping it’s going to get better but with chemicals in the water it’s a case of monitoring and testing the water.”

Thanks to WV11 reader Ian Mundy who sent us the above photo which was taken on the canal near Bentley Bridge yesterday –  Ian counted over 170 dead fish.

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