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Title: The River Mersey : fact file
Author: National Rivers Authority North West Region
Document Type: Monograph
The Mersey was once a clean and beautiful river. Fishing was an important industry. Even salmon could be caught in Manchester until the end of the 18th Century. The rapid expansion of the textile industry led to an associated growth in the dyeing, bleaching and finishing trades. All these industries required copious amounts of clean water and many produced large quantities of untreated effluent. The manufacture of dyes and chemicals developed, the paper industry flourished and a heavy chemical industry grew up in the Widnes and St. Helens area. Perhaps the final straw was the coalgas-making industry which discharged gas liquor and tar directly into the Mersey. As factories sprang up, people thronged into the towns to find work. The huge concentrations of people and factories needed vast amounts of water. After use, it had to be discharged into short stretches of river already regarded as convenient outlets for every kind of waste. In the Mersey Basin the growth of demand for water led towns to seek supplies from the only pure water remaining on the Pennines. The resulting sewage was discharged directly into the nearest river, and the Irk and Medlock became virtual rivers of sewage.
Publisher: National Rivers Authority
Publication Date: [before 1996]
Publication Place: Warrington
Subject Keywords: RiversRecreationInformation dissemination
Geographic Keywords: EA North WestMerseyMersey Estuary catchment
Extent: n.p. [13]
Total file downloads: 285

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