Sewage leak

Illegal dumping of tarmac, blankets and household waste in a Lincoln sewer caused a major leak which took three days to clean up. 

Anglian Water staff responded to the incident recently at land between Greetwell Road and Carlton Boulevard and have now completed an investigation. It is believed the items were dumped in the sewer through a manhole cover on the site.

The bedding material, bin bags of rubbish and tarmac rubble caused a blockage which resulted in sewage spilling out, covering a large area and entering two seasonal ponds and a stream.

Victoria Wilkinson, Pollution Prevention Manager, said: “This blockage caused a big and very unpleasant mess. We had two tankers on site for three days to clean the area. We don’t believe any people, pets or wildlife were harmed by the waste – but it could have been much worse.

“It looks likely somebody lifted a manhole cover and dumped this waste in the sewer. The site is around ten minutes away from the nearest household waste recycling site which is where this kind of material should have been taken.

“This kind of irresponsible behaviour puts people and animals’ health and safety at risk, causes huge environmental problems and costs thousands to clean up – adding to customer’s bills in the long run.”

Dumping waste into a sewer is a criminal act and could land the perpetrator with a large fine.

Anglian Water has now been forced to weld down the manhole covers in the area and will be monitoring the site for any further incidents.

The company’s sewer technicians attend around 30,000 blockages a year across the region, costing £15million. While many of these are caused by a build up of unflushable waste in the pipes such as fat, cotton buds and wipes, illegal dumping in sewers can also cause big problems.