A highly dangerous chemical has been found at the bottom of a Black Country pool, sparking fears for children and wildlife.
Around 50 wildfowl have been found dead at Rattlechain Mere Pool in Oldbury during the past nine years and the pool owners have now admitted it contains a substance that can spontaneously burst into flames.
Ian Carroll, of Sandwell Swanwatch, said news elemental yellow phosphorus was lying at the bottom of the pool emerged during a meeting with officials from Rhodia UK Limited.
Formerly Albright and Wilson, the firm previously had a licence to dump waste from the production of calcium phosphate.
But Mr Carroll revealed Rhodia had told him they were unable to make the pool safe by filling it because of the dangerous nature of the substance lurking beneath the water.
"This substance is very unstable and can spontaneously catch fire," he said.
"We've always been told only harmless substances were in the pool, but this is hardly harmless.
Speaking on behalf of Rhodia, Dr Tom Dutton said: "Rhodia takes its safety and environmental responsibilities very seriously and will continue to co-operate with Swanwatch."
He added work would be carried out to secure the site.