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20,000 litres of water from River Severn pumped into Shrewsbury's Dingle to save fish

By Aimee Jones | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

One of Shrewsbury's most famous features had to be filled with 20,000 litres of water from the River Severn to save fish from the heat.

Water being pumped from the River Severn in Shrewsbury to The Dingle. Photo: @SFRS_Shrews

The water levels in the pool at The Dingle became critically low, which meant the hundreds of fish were at risk of dying.

Areas of the Dingle had completely dried up because of the recent heatwave and a lack of rainfall.

20,000 litres of water has been pumped into the pool at The Dingle

It meant oxygen levels fell dramatically, putting the fish in peril.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service stepped in to save the hundreds of fish including carp, some of which are believed to be about 50 years old.

Watch manager Ross Donnelly said the firefighters treated it as a practice session for when water needs to be pumped from the Severn to fight a fire.

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"We've lifted 20,000 litres of fresh open water from the River Severn and pumped it about 200 metres into the Dingle," he said.

"It's is not something we routinely do but it was a last resort to save the fish.

"It took about 40 minutes, so not very long. Our pump is fairly large and can move 500 litres of water a minute."

Mr Donnelly said it was a good opportunity to practice water pumping at a busy time of year.

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"The number of calls were getting in the area at the moment is huge," he added.

"In another situation, we could be needed to pump this water to put out a serious fire.

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"This is a good time to remind everyone to be careful this summer. Anything can start a fire from a barbecue to sunlight reflected off a broken glass."

Crews have been also been filling a huge portable water containers with 8,000 litres of water to use if needed.

Earlier this week, 50 fire crews were sent to the Bog, near the Stiperstones, after a large fire broke out.

The heatwave shows no sign of ending, with temperatures next week expected to return to the low 80s. There is also no sign of any sustained rainfall moving into the region.

The hot and dry conditions have left land throughout the region parched.

And, although Severn Trent say reservoir levels remain healthy, some rivers have shown the effect of the conditions.

Parts of the River Teme have completely dried up, leading to an emergency operation by the Evnironment Agency to remove fish and move them to areas where the water still flows.

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones
@aimeejones_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering Shrewsbury, North Shropshire and South Shropshire.

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