Several people have brought to my attention in recent days the falling level of the local canal in Brownhills and surrounds, which has naturally been causing concern, particularly following the recent wet weather which saw the canal overflowing heavily on Sunday, 27th May 2018.
By yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 2nd June 2018), I measured the level as 144mm lower than the overflow height at Clayhanger: Nearly six inches of water lost in five days from about 25 miles of canal at the same level with no locks is a huge amount of water to disappear without obvious trace.
9pm last Sunday evening (27th May 2018). This canal was not short of water then…
Initial enquiries with the pretty useless PR people at the Canal and River Trust blamed Staffordshire County Council for turning off the supply of water from Chasewater, which was clearly arrant toss as it had been running since April.
Hi all, sorry to just get back to you. It was an issue where the local council who control the valve on Chasewater turned it off without us being aware. Our teams are on the case and pumping water from Bradley to try and bring levels back up. -Amy— CRT Customer Service (@CRTContactUs) June 1, 2018
Online discussions had centred around someone perhaps leaving a lock sluice open, as so much water leaking would surely be evident somewhere. As incidents at Middlewich and Llangollen show, canals leaking so much tend to be catastrophic and very evident!
In the early 1980s, a breach at Sandhills near Anchor Bridge, Brownhills caused much damage, too.
It turns out that from an emergency stoppage notice posted yesterday (Saturday 2nd June 2018) water has been leaking from the canal into a stream culvert at Little Bloxwich, and thankfully hasn’t burst through. Work is currently underway to isolate the section and repair it, damming the canal to prevent water loss in the interim.
Hopefully this should see levels stabilise in a short time.
This incident has further convinced me that the Canal and River Trust couldn’t find their arses with both hands, an arse map, a mirror, a team of very expensive arse finding consultants and an example arse flown in from America.
Thanks to everyone who brought this to my attention and debated it: great stuff.
If you have a view on this, or pictiures, please do get in touch. Comment or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.