Raw sewage seeps into river after pipe bursts in Awliscombe

PUBLISHED: 17:30 10 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:31 12 January 2018

Raw sewage is pumped onto the field at Kains Park Farm in Awliscombe. Photo: Martyn Summers

Raw sewage is pumped onto the field at Kains Park Farm in Awliscombe. Photo: Martyn Summers

Archant

South West Water believes the environmental impact on the river is ‘minimal’ - but resident Martyn Summers is demanding the company replaces the pipe.

A major sewage spill in Awliscombe farmer’s field has been slammed as ‘unacceptable’ after hazardous waste seeped into a tributary of the River Otter.

Martyn Summers, who manages Kains Storage Park in Honiton, made the unsavoury discovery in his field this morning (Wednesday) - and is demanding South West Water replace the whole line before it happens again.

Mr Summers, 49, says the sewage spill was the third one to have happened in just over a year - each time resulting in foul-smelling hazardous waste being pumped above the surface.

He is now urging bosses at South West Water to recognise the problem and replace the whole pipeline.

“This is has been an ongoing issue,” he said. “The pipe leaked in December 2016 and January last year.

“South West Water needs to replace the main pipe. Every time it breaks, lots of raw sewage comes up.”

Mr Summers, who rents out the field, says raw sewage seeped into the River Wolf - a tributary of the River Otter - as a result of the leak.

However, South West Water says the burst looks to have had a ‘minimal’ environmental impact on the river.

The affected pipe runs from Hembury Fort in Awliscombe into the village’s sewage pumping station, and then on to Honiton’s sewage treatment works.

As well as potentially containing harmful bacteria including E. coli and salmonella, Mr Summers says a big issue with raw sewage is that it is hard to distinguish against normal water.

He added: “What people do not realise is that raw sewage does not look like what goes into most toilets.

“It just looks like grey, dirty water, so when it’s in a river, you won’t know its there.

“The smell gives it away, but when in a river it is hard to determine what is raw sewage.”

Mr Summers said he believes the pipe will break again if not fully replaced, adding: “South West Water needs to recognise this problem.

“The pollution these spillages are causing are unbelievable.

“I rent this field out to someone and it is not fair that they have to deal with these issues.”

A spokesman for South West Water said: “We immediately attended site and shut down Awliscombe Sewage Pumping Station, which transfers wastewater through this pipe to Honiton Sewage Treatment Works.

“Tankers are being used to transport the wastewater until the pipe is repaired tomorrow.

“We believe the burst has had minimal environmental impact on the River Wolf, but we are of course monitoring the situation closely.

“The Environment Agency has also been informed.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 15:01

Popular open top bus service will operate between Charmouth, Lyme, Seaton and Beer

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

A Honiton butcher has expressed his disgust after what is believed to be a large vehicle caused £2,000 worth of damage to his canopy - by crunching into it.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

The shopping in scene in Honiton’s New Street has been dealt a fresh blow after a business announced it will close tomorrow (Friday).

Read more
Yesterday, 07:34

Local school children join the fight for cleaner seas to safeguard wildlife

Read more
Yesterday, 07:11

Vehicle’s catalytic converter catches alight

Read more
Yesterday, 07:01

Organisers are hoping for even more exhibits this year after the fruitful growing season

Read more
Wed, 17:44

Honiton’s high street was awash with hundreds of people today (Wednesday) who turned out in force to observe the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to the town.

Read more
Wed, 15:01

Twenty members visit Bicton Gardens to enjoy the flowers

Read more
Wed, 07:15

Sidmouth firefighters help to free her

Read more
Wed, 07:01

East Devon’s countryside team is planning a series of fun filled activities in August

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Midweek Herald twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications