LOW oxygen levels have been found in a Kidderminster canal following fire water running off the site of a major blaze at Lawrence Recycling.

The Environment Agency has been monitoring the canal and have taken steps to increase oxygen levels in the water.

The fire at the site in Stourport Road broke out on Sunday at about 5.30pm.

Thousands of tonnes of rubbish caught fire and residents have been told they will see a smoke plume for about a week.

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said: “We tested the water on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal and found low oxygen levels following fire water run off.

“This afternoon we have been using paddle aerators on the canal to increase oxygen levels in the water. We will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate action.”

The Environment Agency has also been undertaking air quality monitoring to help Public Health England carry out a risk assessment.

Dr David Kirrage, a consultant with the Public Health England’s West Midlands health protection team, said: "It’s important that local residents understand that the risks to their health are low, however smoke is an irritant so it can make people’s eyes and throat sore.

“The general advice remains that people should do all they can to stay out of the smoke.”