Serious diesel spill in Calder

Published: Friday, 13 November 2009

THERE has been a Category One—the most serious—diesel spill into the Calder, that is causing concern.

This occured yesterday (12th November) at Walsden between Littleborough and Todmorden, and is drifting downstream into the Calder & Hebble, and the slick is estimated at 15km long, though cleaning up operations are well underway, Alan Tilbury reports.

Water for the Rochdale

Though the river there is not navigable, British Waterways  takes water for the Rochdale Canal from the river, which has now been stopped.

The incident has been rated Category One mainly due to the visual impact of the spill with a fine film over the water's surface and the fact it is dispersed over a large area of waterway.

It is thought that over 2,000 gallons of diesel went into the waterway.  It is expected that a prosecution will follow.

Residents living by the Calder Valley reported the incident early on Thursday  morning, with the Environment Agency teams quickly working to stop contamination of the waterway.  Work is continuing today (Friday), and inspection will focus on whether any further environmental problems have developed overnight.