Engineers at Yorkshire Water have been left puzzled by residents’ claims that raw sewage is leaking into a Driffield road.
Every time there is heavy rainfall the sewage leaks from a manhole cover on Windmill Hill and is being turned into spray by traffic just yards from a children’s play area, say local residents.
But water engineers who have examined the manhole cover as well as drains and pipes in the local area say they have been unable to find any evidence of a leak, or a blockage which may be causing the water to back up.
And they are now urging residents to contact them immediately at the time when the sewage is actually leaking so they can see the problem happening for themselves.
Local resident Tony McLean, who has knowledge of drains after working in the building trade for more than 40 years, said: “It appears that every time there is a downpour, the combined sewerage system cannot cope with additional surcharge and the manhole lid is displaced.
“I witnessed such a heavy shower and I noticed that most of the raw sewage was running down the road and into The Beck, though some did accumulate outside the entrance to the Memorial gardens in Northend Park.
“The sewage running down the road was turned into spray and atomised by the busy traffic. All of this was happening right outside the entrance to the children’s playground.
“The people of Driffield are very proud of the purity of their local chalk stream and quite rightly so. Are we really willing to let the poor maintenance of our drainage system affect our health of our children and the purity of our local watercourses?”
Mr McLean said the sewage was probably ‘highly diluted’ by the rainwater, but added: “I can almost guarantee it’s sewage. I’m not qualified to say whether there’s a risk of it spreading disease, but to have raw sewage running down the street in 21st century Britain is a step backwards whether it’s a health risk or not.”
Yorkshire Water engineers were dispatched to the site shortly after The Driffield Times and Post contacted them about the residents’ claims. But a company spokesperson admitted that the source of the claimed leak was a mystery.
She said: “People need to report the leak straight away at the time it’s happening so we can get out and investigate.
She added: “Should there be any incidents in the future we would urge customers to contact us immediately on 0345 1242424.”