Orange Wom


Similar to the Yellow River in China, Wombourne’s brook, the Wom had assumed an orange tinge this morning! The direct cause of this was orange/red_flood_ water, stemming from a burst water main on Greenhill (see above photo).. Residents of Wombourne will know that red sand can be found in abundance beneath the ground in this part of the village, and the burst water main simply washed a considerable amount of the red sand down the hill towards the storm drains that empty into the Wom. (This photo was taken facing a southerly direction, with the narrow road bridge over the Wom directly behind the photographer).

3 Replies to “Orange Wom”

  1. Hi Geraint,

    Interesting to hear about the red flood water and burst water main – I reported the water leak to Severn trent Water on 27th May. A local resident said it had already been flowing for about 10 days. ALthough it doesn’t seem to be harming the brook, it must be wasting a huge amount of water, so I hope it gets sorted out soon! I also reported the ongoing pollution which is always present at the outfall underneath the Gravel Hill footbridge, just nearby. This putfall should just be for surface water, but someone has obviously got a mis-connection to this drain so that washing detergent is discharged here instead of going to the sewer!
    Maybe through your web site you can appeal to anyone in housing estates or roads around the brook, especially Gravel Hill, to check that their washing machines, toilets and sinks etc. are connected to the right drains. They should go to the sewers and not to surface water drains (the type at the side of the road, or rain water drain-pipes). Often new extensions or alterations can result in things being mis-connected – then the pollution is very hard to trace.

    Kate Dewey
    Staffordshire Wildlife Trust

  2. Hi Geraint – it was your allusion to the Yellow River which drew me here today. On Sunday I took my parents to the Mersey River Festival, and while we were watching a Lancaster bomber (grandad worked on the nose fairings in WW2!) we talked about pollution. Some apocryphal tales were swapped – they might even be true! It takes a long time for a river to lose a bad reputation for pollution, and Mum was quite convinced that the Pearl River (Canton) is cleaner than the Mersey. Poor old Mersey – I know its no longer an industrial sewer.

    Kate has a good point but I wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to check my pipes and drains. Is there a simple guide?

  3. Thanks Kate and Shirley for your comments-these are much appreciated, and hopefully they will attract others to contribute and share their knowledge as you have. Kate-re the possible mis-connection-you seem yet again to have possibly solved the mystery of the ‘detergent’ effect in the brook-I still can’t rule out the salt-scum effect-is there a rainfall drain located in the old Highways yard? There are still a few tons of road salt left in there.
    Shirley-I still have clear memories from childhood of crossing the Mersey on the ferry from Birkenhead, and seeing the flotsam lying on top of a clearly polluted river.

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