AN INVESTIGATION is under way after pollution — including raw sewage — seeped into a river, turning it bright green and poisoning wildlife.

While a wrongly connected sewerage pipe is thought to be the cause, the bright green colour has turned out to be harmless dye.

The discovery was made as Helen Rogan took her father for a walk along a cyclepath on the Mirehouse Estate and saw birds struggling in the sludge.

Helen was shocked by what she saw. She said: “Looking into the river we saw some ducks with ducklings and coots. They were suffering and we were worried.

“The water stank and looked slick and oily and a weird colour.

“We rang United Utilities pollution line at Warrington to report a pollution incident.

“They sent a specialist there who took samples.

“He said that some of the green was a dye, which in itself was harmless.

“He told us that the water pouring from the Seathwaite Avenue Culvert to Esk Avenue was raw sewage and the birds were being slowly poisoned and the river was dying from the toxic silting.

“He asked me to let people know that somewhere along the river in the Mirehouse Estate area, builders or plumbers had plumbed people’s waste pipes into the tap water or land drainage rather than the proper sewer pipes.

“Please check your home waste pipes to be sure you have not been miss-connected to land drains from a washing machine, toilet, sink or shower/bath.

“Let’s save our ducks frogs, coots and other animals that have young at this time before they all die in this nasty water.”

Water company United Utilities are reassuring the public that the green colouring is dye.

A spokesman said: “We have investigated the problem and it appears to be a miss connection.

“We have passed this over to Copeland Council for further investigations as they’re responsible for the land the culvert is on.”

A spokesman for Copeland council said: “We are currently working with United Utilities to resolve this issue.”

The council maintain a number of smaller watercourses where they run across their land.

These are generally becks that are too small to have a name, the Environment Agency takes care of larger watercourses which are termed main rivers.

If you have any concerns about blocked trash screens, flooding from smaller watercourses or from private sewers then please call 01946 598300