Following complaints from a local resident about the presence of raw sewerage in Oak Beck, Cllr Matthew Webber (Lib Dem, New Park) has raised the issue with Yorkshire Water.
At times the smell of sewerage is evident in the Oak Beck near to the Jennyfields area as it heads towards the river Nidd alongside the Knox Mill area. It has also been visible near the Hydro area of Harrogate at times.
A spokesperson for Yorkshire Water said:
The sewer network in the area is very complicated; underground springs enter the pipes and there are several pipes that have been wrongly connected to it.
This means the network is full of water that shouldn’t necessarily be there and it would be very difficult for us to rectify all these issues so we manage the area very carefully.
The sewer overflow that enters Oak Beck is extraordinary so we have an ongoing management agreement with the Environment Agency about how we look after it.
The Environment Agency regulate how we manage this difficult outfall and we report all incidents to the Environment Agency and review these in detail.
When we learn of an incident, we make sure we’re there within two hours to deal with the issue and clean up.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said:
The Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water have previously investigated issues of discolouration and sewage fungus at Oak Beck thought to be caused by one or more missed sewer connections
The infrastructure at the beck is maintained by Yorkshire Water, and the site is regularly monitored by the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency remain committed to improving the overall water quality in Oak Beck.
Cllr Webber said:
What I can say as a response is I welcome the news that YW will investigate the issue but still want to see YW taking proactive action rather than the current reactive position that is dependant on YW being alerted of problems here.
Currently YW depend on an issue being reported before action is taken and this means than there are/could be releases of foul water can happen that are not noticed and I have asked for some monitoring of the outlet so YW are alerted so action can be taken automatically.