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Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Polluted lead mine made safe
Ullswater at Glenridding
There were fears lead waste could fall into the lake
A project to protect Ullswater from the pollution caused by a disused lead mine has been completed.

The work at Greenside Mine near Glenridding has cost 850,000 and taken 18 months to complete.

It was feared that a tip of waste material from the mine was in danger of collapsing and releasing polluted water and spoil into Ullswater.

The tip has been altered to reduce the angle of its slope, the top has been capped with clay, and a channel cut to carry storm water away.

Fish threatened

Peter Bardsley from the Environment Agency said: "The problem was with the mine's spoil, which came about as a result of the process of making the lead ingots.

"The spoil was stored on a very steep slope on the mountain, and was full of water and very unstable.

"The problem was that if the dams collapsed you could have the spoil coming down the mountain onto the miners' cottages and into Ullswater."

He said a previous pollution incident had wiped out a species of fish, and any other leakage could threaten other marine life.

Lead was mined at Greenside from the middle of the 17th century, but was stopped in 1962.

The pollution risk was investigated by the Lake District National Park Authority in 1999, and a detailed plan to address the risks was drawn up.


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02 Sep 02 | England
31 May 02 | England
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