Sewage is still flowing freely

RAW sewage is still leaking into the River Tyne at a Northumberland beauty spot, more than two months after The Journal first highlighted the problem.

RAW sewage is still leaking into the River Tyne at a Northumberland beauty spot, more than two months after The Journal first highlighted the problem.

The waste is spewing into the river in the village of Corbridge and residents say it is a long-standing problem.

The pipe, at Wellbank, is designed to drain excess surface water into the river but, instead, waste from toilets, including excrement, contraceptives and sanitary products, is flowing into the river.

Coun Lawrence Best said that despite repeated visits from Northumbrian Water officials, the problem had not been resolved.

He said: “It is disgusting. It makes a terrible stink and it is still going on.

“The officials came and swept away the rubbish but more keeps coming.

“There are so many new houses in the village, or houses with extensions and new bathrooms, that the drainage is a real problem. The whole thing needs to be sorted out.”

The problem has been made worse by the recent heavy rainfall, with even more waste coming out of the pipe.

When the river is high, the sewage washes up on to the green in front of residents’ houses. The issue was also raised at a recent meeting of Corbridge Parish Council.

Following an initial investigation, Northumbrian Water said the problem was down to an illegal deposit that had been made into the system.

But despite investigating and stopping this deposit, the problem persists.

A spokeswoman for the company said that a number of factors were causing the problem.

She said: “We are aware of the problem and we are checking the site regularly to carry out clean-ups when required.

“The pipe concerned is used by the Environment Agency to discharge in times of heavy rainfall. We have identified that there have been customers who have been putting items down the sewer which they shouldn’t be and we have addressed that with the people concerned.

“We have also recently discovered that some customers have illegally crossed connections and we will be addressing that as well.”

She added that the firm will be putting an improvement scheme in place, which will involve the pipe having a screen fitted.

This will ensure that any waste gets caught in a filter before entering the river and will be cleaned from the pipe at regular intervals.

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