Family of ducklings rescued from sewage at Lancashire water treatment plant

It was a case of ‘sewer far, sewer good’ for a family of ducks who had got themselves in a sticky situation.

By Phil Cunnington
Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 3:45 pm

The RSPCA enjoyed the sweet smell of success when they went to rescue six ducklings which had become stuck in sewage at a Lancashire treatment plant.

Staff at the water treatment plant came across the ducklings scurrying around a storm tank.

Workers were hoping the ducklings and mum would make their escape – but it appears the mum took flight and the babies were stuck in water filled with human waste.

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The six ducklings enjoy the fresh water on a pond after being rescued from a sewage tank at Blackburn and Darwen waste water treatment plant

Staff reported the matter to the RSPCA and inspector Danni Jennings was sent to the scene.

The ducklings were confined to the overflow sewage area at the Blackburn and Darwen waste water treatment plant, just off the M65, which had high walls so they were unable to get free. Half of the surface area was covered in water and human waste and another part was concrete.

Staff at the plant teamed up with Danni to help get the ducklings from the unpleasant situation they had landed themselves in.

One was able to encourage them from the sewage water onto the concrete area and workers then formed a human shield to stop the ducklings escaping back into the sewage so Danni was able to safely capture them all in a net.

The six ducklings safely in a carry box after being rescued from a sewage tank at Blackburn and Darwen waste water treatment plant

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“It was also quite a smelly situation on such a hot day but I was determined to help them because there was no way they could have got out themselves. They were too young to fly from the ground.

“With some great team work a staff member at the plant managed to encourage them onto the concrete area and then with the help of others I was able to get them all.”

The ducklings were checked over and apart from the fact they were dirty from their ordeal they were in good health.

Danni was able to take them to a nearby private pond where they were keen to jump straight into the refreshing water.

Danni added: “When I took them to the pond to let them free they all quickly ran off – which was great to see.

“I went to check on them this week and they seem to be doing really well.”

Robert Jackson, Process Controller for United Utilities, said: “When we saw the predicament the ducklings were in, we called the RSPCA straight away. Our team were happy to help Danni with the rescue and we’re made up to the hear ducklings are all doing well back in the wild.”

For more information about what to do if you find a wild animal in need of help, please visit the RSPCA’s website:

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