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Mystery ‘foam’ in Salford’s River Irwell leaves public puzzled

The Environment Agency confirmed a team was on the scene, but had yet to find a source.

A mysterious substance spotted in the River Irwell in Salford (@JonnyHart93 and @NMWithers)
A mysterious substance spotted in the River Irwell in Salford (@JonnyHart93 and @NMWithers)

By Max McLean, PA

Vast quantities of foam in Salford’s River Irwell baffled members of the public on Tuesday morning.

The phenomenon was described on social media as “bizarre” and “weird” by those in the area, while another added “looks like loads of soap suds”.

An Environment Agency spokesman confirmed that the organisation was aware of “foam pollution” in the Irwell as well as the River Roch, but a spokesman told the PA news agency that it was unaware of the source.

Alastair, 30, from Manchester, told PA that he witnessed the foam at around 7am in the Greengate area of Manchester, adding that it “probably started to diminish around 8.30 or so” and that he was “pretty shocked”.

He continued: “It was a pretty continuous stream of white foam – at first I actually thought it might have been ice it was so thick.

“It’s not the first time I’ve seen pollution in the Irwell, but it’s by far the worst.”

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “The Environment Agency is aware of foam pollution in the River Roch and downstream in the River Irwell in Manchester.

“We are currently on site investigating and are working with partners to resolve the incident. We are grateful for the public response in reporting the incident to our 24 hour Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”



From Belfast Telegraph