Signs that warned of ‘Contaminated Water’ along a stretch of Bradford Beck are to be removed – after the water was found to not be a danger to health.
The water quality of the Beck between Canal Road and Shipley has improved significantly in the last 20 years – so much so that plants, fish and other wildlife are flourishing, said Bradford Council.
Evidence provided by the Friends of Bradford’s Becks (FOBB) allowed the Council to decide the signs – which were put up in the early 1970s – could come down.
Councillor Val Slater, the Council’s executive member for Housing, Planning and Transport, said: “It is great news that this watercourse is gradually reverting to a quality it has not enjoyed since the days before the Industrial Revolution.
“The improvement in Bradford Beck shows how it is possible for water courses to recover with help from modern environmental policy and practices.
“There is still a lot more work to be done, but being able to remove the signs is an important milestone.”
In 2012, FOBB volunteers took seven water samples from 20 places on Bradford Beck and its tributaries.
After analysis at the University of Sheffield, it was revealed that the water was not a danger to health.
A FOBB spokesman said: “The waters do need to be cleaner to support a full eco-system, but fish including trout can be found in the Beck now.”
The Friends’ plan for the becks was revealed early last year and supported by the Council’s environment committee last April.
FOBB is planning to install signposts to the tributaries, as well as information boards in key locations. They also want to mark where the Beck runs underneath city centre pavements.
Barney Lerner, chairman of FOBB said: “We look forward to Bradford Council actually removing the signs, and then working with us to win the funding to install new signs celebrating the Beck and its history.”
The Beck is a small river system of around 11km. The Industrial Revolution turned it into a turgid river of sewage and poisonous waste. Subsequent building development in the city centre saw the beck diverted through culverts underground.
FOBB is carrying out a litter pick on March 22 and a ‘Becknic’ with picnic and music, on April 6. For more information, visit www.bradford-beck.org.