A Salford Swimmer is disgusted by sewage and waste disposal being dumped in local water spots.

“We don’t see the fish, we see the litter that just goes past us. It’s a shame that it’s such a beautiful place with a surface of litter.”

Helen Leigh is an Open Water Swimmer and Water Sport enthusiast and is disgusted by the amount of waste being dumped into rivers around Salford, especially the Quays.

“It’s disgusting but also hazardous, a lot of children come down and I have seen needles.”

“We have to tell them not to swim in there when they try too, Salford council need to do more. They come down once a month and that’s it they clean it and then it looks like this every single day” “When you try and get out on the water it’s just impossible. Because it covers the entire landing area and more needs to be done”


Helen works for AgeCroft Rowing club and they use the Quays regularly for various water sports.

“Recently I don’t know if it was feces or something else but there was a bad smell going around the water.”

This comes to light after the recent research that found Salford and Greater Manchester was one of the largest areas for waste disposal and sewage over spilling in local rivers.


This map from the River Trust shows where the sewerage network discharges waste into rivers across Salford with the majority being located in the Irwell and the Manchester Ship canals.

One Salford Resident have slammed this latest report saying  “It’s criminal, that’s what I think. The Irwell was once one of the dirtiest rivers in the country, but in recent times, it’s so clean there are trout in it. Various charities have dedicated themselves to keeping it clean for years. Let’s remember this is not just human waste that’s being allowed to be dumped, but various chemical wastes too.” “Water companies have paid out billions of pounds of our money to shareholders instead of investing it in infrastructure. I wouldn’t mind if the bills were increased to make the country a little greener or safer, but it’s just going into millionaires pockets.”

Over the weekend parliament took a vote which was an amendment to the environment bill that would have placed a legal duty on water companies not to pump waste into rivers.

However this vote was turned down with 22 Conservatives rebelling against the government last week, after the environment secretary, George Eustice, recommended that MPs vote against the amendment.

A statement released from parliament said that “To eliminate storm overflows means transforming the entire Victorian sewage system to a whole new sewage system. It would be irresponsible for any government to spend an estimated preliminary cost of anywhere between £150bn to £650bn to transform the entire sewage system. This is a huge amount to spend in an ordinary time, let alone at a time of a continuing health pandemic.


“More needs to be done but how many times do people have to complain for them to make a change. Unfortunately it seems the environment is the least of peoples problems which is a shame for the people of the future and people who want to enjoy it. It’s disgusting, the pigeons and the swans love it but you are the ones swimming with dead pigeons, dead rats, dead squirrels and even worse the smell of feces.” – Helen Leigh

One Comment

  1. Damian killick

    This is at the front of the boating and water sport centre, the open water spots are where the Lowry centre is. This problem will never go away as the rubbish etc comes from the Mersey river and unfortunately ends up here as it’s where the river/canal ends. The open water section is clean and the water is gin clear. Unless the councils put nets across from further down or make side canals during heavy rain and tides this will always be the case.

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