Urgent action promised over polluted brook

ACTION has been promised to tackle raw sewage gushing into a local beauty spot's stream after a resident complained about the slow pace of work.

Monday, 8th February 2016, 11:27 am
Updated Monday, 8th February 2016, 12:34 pm
Councillor Jim Ellis investigates the drain

The Environment Agency and United Utilities have both agreed to take enforcement action after an outflow in Aspull caused the waste to run into Borsdane Brook.

Local resident Maureen Thompson, who owns the land affected on Mill Lane, has now hit out the authorities as the problem was flagged up before Christmas and work is yet to begin on remedying the situation.

She says this has caused a large amount of erosion with the bank being washed away by the sewage into the brook, which flows from Aspull into a protected area of old woodland in Hindley.

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However, the authorities have now reassured her progress is being made as it has now been confirmed illegal drain tampering by Morris Homes on a nearby housing development is the cause of the issue.

A spokesman for United Utilities said: “By interfering with the sewer, Morris Homes has created a situation where wastewater overflows into the beck during heavy rain.

“Clearly, this isn’t a sustainable solution, and so we have been asked by the Environment Agency to step in and help.

“We are now exploring ways to avoid future flooding of the housing estate, while preventing overflows into the beck.

“We’ll make a recommendation once we have examined all the options.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “We will continue to work closely with United Utilities to investigate the illegal outfall into Borsdane Brook and will take the necessary enforcement action when all reports are complete.”

The house-building company has now hit back, saying it has been trying unsuccessfully to get in touch with the authorities to rectify the situation.

A Morris Homes spokesman said: “Since being made aware of the issue, we have contacted United Utilities on multiple occasions to see how we might help resolve the problem and we are still awaiting a response.”

However, Mrs Thompson says she is frustrated that two months have passed and work to tackle the drain tampering has still not begun.

She said: “Nobody has done anything practical at all. United Utilities have been to take levels several times but that’s it.

“It has taken more of the bank out and there’s now a big cavity out where water must have been swilling round. I think it’s grown three or four times since the first incident.

“I suppose it’s ongoing but I just haven’t been informed.

“Raw sewage shouldn’t be entering the stream and Borsdane Brook is still getting polluted.”

Her frustration is matched by independent councillor for Hindley ward Jim Ellis, who has been helping her alert the relevant authorities to the matter.

Coun Ellis said: “The bank has now collapsed even more and the landowner isn’t very pleased at all.

“She’s got a point, nothing is getting done and yet what they have put in place is actually illegal.”