The impact on the confirmed sewage pollution incident at this lake has been horrendous, yet three themes have emerged over the last week in response to the bad publicity for Sandwell council and Severn Trent Water. These are 1. Procrastination on the part of SMBC 2. Denials by Severn Trent. 3 Inaccurate reporting of the facts.
Unfortunately, as I have found before, the local media in this part of the world are NEVER on the side of the underdog or investigative journalism. They merely print the lies of the spin doctors and don’t challenge them with incisive questions.
Let’s look first at the headline in this article, “Smethwick pool sealed off following mysterious geese deaths”.
This allies some apparent decisive action by SMBC with there being “mystery” about the geese deaths. In fact the truth is SMBC’s action is very limited and for show only after the event, and does nothing to prevent the goose deaths, from which there is no “mystery”. The pool has been “fenced off” , which I will show is also inaccurate, but was NOT fenced off when the proven sewage leak had occurred, and Sandwell council managers were fully aware of the fact that this had occurred. All SMBC has done is to put up some herras fencing around part of the pathway around the lake. You can still walk around the entire lake, and I also last Friday saw children squatting in the same area that the geese are dying in.
One notes that the first picture in the above story shows SMBC operatives removing a dumped trolley that has been in there some time in this same area, and Not any dead birds.
The second shows a council operative in a boat that the council have suddenly acquired, yet look at the lack of any PPE in both pictures.
“Back in May, a blocked sewer pipe caused waste water to enter the pool. However Severn Trent said it was “confident” the bird deaths were not connected due to the ‘extensive nature’ of the repair work.”
Firstly , as I have demonstrated already, the EA as well as myself and several other members of the community smelt and saw “crude sewage” and “raw sewage” solids in the pool. IT WAS NOT “WASTE WATER”. This is inaccurate reporting. All that Severn Trent actually did was to pump out dirty water and pump in clean- so they claim. There was NEVER any removal of the “crude sewage” and “raw sewage” that had gone into the pool.
“We’re confident the quality of the pool is much improved as a result and that these bird deaths are unconnected.”
The quality of the pool is still terrible, as any blind fool would realise. The depth of the “water”, if you can even call it that, is dredged up as a black treacle every time the birds swim through it. They are ingesting this faecal contaminated matter and dying afterwards. If this is “unconnected” to their deaths then why are Sandwell council now “fencing off” the pool? Would any Severn Trent official care to come to the pool and create a brew from the said “quality” water they have pumped into this shithole in the ground?
There is another example in the Express and Star about this factual incident where it is “claimed” that sewage had gone into the pool. There is no “CLAIM” ,it is an established FACT. It is not denied by Severn Trent, and the Environment Agency themselves described it as “crude sewage” and “raw sewage”. So why therefore the inaccurate statement concerning “claim” in these reports?
A “claim” is something that is not backed up by any evidence, just opinion. It is wrong to report something of which there is indisputable evidence as “claim” therefore. Anchored to this is a seemingly authoritative statement, which is a “claim”, but is never stated as such, by Severn Trent. The story also mentions nothing of the “misconnections” going into the pool which have not been fixed at all.
THE QUESTIONS THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ASKED.
- For how long had “crude sewage” and “raw sewage” been going into the pool?
- What volume of “crude sewage” and “raw sewage” and solids entered the pool?
- Why did SMBC not fence off the pool when the incident was occurring and known to them?
- Why did it communicate VERY limited information to the public about this human health risk, only mentioning “mud”?
- Why are SMBC not stopping the birds entering the area of concern where misconnections are still coming into the pool via an also still vile contaminated brook?
- Why haven’t the media asked them these specific questions?
SMBC LACK OF ACTION.
I have spoken to Max Cookson, his director Alan Caddick, and cabinet member Maria Crompton, yet all appear to ignore the issue that I am trying to get them to action , and the longer this goes on, I doubt their sincerity about this situation. Or perhaps they believe that I have nothing to offer and don’t know what I am talking about? Either way the deaths of birds will continue if they continue to take no action to stop the birds accessing this area.