River Bollin Pollution Journal 

December 2021 to Date

Home Report a Problem Pollution Blog Sewers & Drains Farmland Run-Off  Invasive Species How to Help Who's Involved River Facts River Jargon

The principal area of concern is a surface water drain, not a storm overflow, serving Star Lane and the Lyme Green Trading Estate, which enters the river just before it passes under the railway line.

The events below are in reverse chronological order; most recent first.

Friday 03 May 2024

Brown water appeared at the Old Mill Lane weir from 6pm until 6:45pm

Environment Agency Reference: 2264460

Note: the water colour is similar to that which entered the river from the problematic surface water drain on 9 June 2023. 

Thursday 07 March 2024

Another major foam episode also traced to a surface water drain on Star Lane serving the Lyme Green Estate.

Environment Agency Reference: 224 3648

First Reported around 1 pm from the bridge on Sutton Close, SK11 7RW, in the south of Macclesfield.

The Environment Agency were on site before 2:45 and attended the pollution incident across three days (7-9 March), to assess the impact on the river Bollin and attempt to trace the pollution, but unfortunately on this occasion were unable to locate a source.

The Point of Entry was the same surface water drain as in the February 2023 episode (not a sewer overflow).

The car washes south of the canal were not involved, their surface water flows directly int the canal.

Once again, the Environment Agency traced the foam south along the blue dotted surface water drain to Star Lane. This drain serves the Lyme Green Estate, (the hump-backed bridge in the lane prevents any drainage from west of the electrified railway line) but the agency were unable to identify the precise source.




Old Mill Lane Weir

Friday 09 June 2023

What appears to be iron oxide, possibly from back-flushing a water filter,
on Friday June 9 2023:-

If there had been prior occurrences, it could account for
the staining of the river bed seen months earlier:-

Wed 22 February - Mon 20 March 2023

The Environment Agency say that over a thousand fish were killed in this foam episode from 22nd of February 2023. (EA Ref: 02132393) and it was followed by a series of discharges until 20th March 2023.

The point of entry to the river was located, and time-lapse photography showed that the problem (on a smaller scale) continued throughout March, and was worse during weekdays.

The agency visited businesses ascertaining the nature of the business, the types of products used or produced, and where appropriate, had further discussions regarding waste disposal arrangements.

In partnership with United Utilities, a number of drains were dye tested which resulted in two misconnections being identified where wastewater meant for foul drains had been connected to surface water, and an instance of poor site practise whereby wastewater intended for the foul sewer could reach surface water drains.
They directed corrective action, and that has now been completed, but this was not the end of the matter, as foam recurred in March 2024 (see above).

In the two time-lapse videos below, you can use the gear icon to slow down the
 frame-rate and/or you can view selected frames shown below the videos.

Still frames from the above videos:-

Picture: Alison McDowell


May 2022

This foam episode had lots of similarities with Environment Agency Incident No 2062906
on 11th May 2022 at Old Mill Lane.

December 2021

Adjacent to
Beech Farm Drive
21-23 December 2021
 including 1350Hrs 23/12/21

Video clip


If you want to trace pollution upstream, this map shows places where the river can be observed from the roads in red, and CSOs in yellow.

Get this map
on your phone

Back to Menu