Along the Birmingham and Worcester and the Stratford Canal contractors are dredging the canal. There is a problem these days when doing such a task, in as much as, much of the canal is contaminated. A number of the toxins are long term and have built up during the working days of the canals. Cadmium and sulphur to name just two. Of course modern day farming techniques use a lot of nitrates and these are washed into the canal. EU regulations control where the dredge can be put. Years ago it was put back on farm land as that saves the farmer buying the stuff the best place for nitrates. However now that that is not an option the contractors are putting the dredged silt on the bank, mostly on the off side but some on the towpath side.
Unfortunately everything they take off the bottom goes on the side. Cans, bottles, plastic bags, scrap metal, mobile phones, murder weapons, bicycles, car tyres, hypodermic needles and every other kind on scrap you can imagine. This is not good!
Since October I have met Richard Parry three times. The last time was on the Hatton Flight a few weeks ago. I explained to him about the dredging problem and he agreed with me that it was not good. Hopefully in the not too distant future a solution will be found to sieve the dredged silt before it is put on the side of the canal. Then the only problem will be how to stop the dredged silt being washed back into the canal because……(pause for effect)……. that is how it got there in the first place!