Badly fitted washing machine blamed for drain pong

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 April 2015 | UPDATED: 08:52 20 April 2015

The River Axe, at Axminster, which is being polluted by a smelly discharge. Picture CHRIS CARSON

The River Axe, at Axminster, which is being polluted by a smelly discharge. Picture CHRIS CARSON


Environment officers appeal for help to track down source of Axminster river pollution

A badly fitted dishwasher or washing machine is being blamed for polluting a stretch of the River Axe.

Environment Agency officers this week appealed for help to trace the source of the mystery discharge which causes a nasty pong in hot weather.

Officials have been concerned that for the past few years that some residents in Willhayes Park, Axminster, have had to suffer with a foul smelling and odorous drain that discharge into a tributary of the River Axe next to their homes.

The problem is more noticeable during periods of dry weather and the summer months. The Environment Agency and South West Water have investigated the problem in recent years but the infrequency of the problem, and the fact that it happens at irregular times, has proved difficult to pinpoint the cause.

A spokesman said it was believed the dirty water is more than likely coming from either a misconnected washing machine or dishwasher, possibly both, within the Willhayes Park estate.

The Environment Agency is now appealing for any information on where the pollutant might originate from and is urging the public to come forward with any details on what may be responsible.

The Agency says it will continue to monitor the situation and carry out further investigations.

“This is probably an easy mistake to rectify but really hard to find. If you live in the Willhayes Park estate please check your washing machines to see which drainage system they are plumbed into,” said Doug Parker for the Environment Agency.

“We urgently need to trace the source of the pollution as soon as possible to prevent any further risk to the environment.”

Anyone with information on the incident can call the Environment Agency’s 24 hour hotline on 0800 807060.

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