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Stink in Rayleigh caused by dirty water
12:00pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in News
RESIDENTS have criticised Rochford District Council and Anglian Water for failing to clear stinking floodwater from a field quickly enough.
The field, at the end of Cheapside West, Rayleigh, doubles as a drainage site and a play area. It stood under 3ft of contaminated water for 12 days, despite protests from people living nearby.
Rubbish from bins washed into the field during the flooding on August 24, along with sewage and animal mess. The putrid water was so high a children’s football goal-frame was almost submerged.
Residents say both the council and Anglian Water refused to take responsibility for the stench.
John Chafer, 50, of Boston Avenue, said: “I don’t know why it’s taken so long. It was half-full before the flood and after the rain it was right up to the top – so you can imagine what it smelt like.
“Before it was full, there was waste in there from people’s bins. Dogs use it and kids use it as a playing field and play football there. It’s just stagnant water, which in the hot weather is even worse.”
Mr Chafer added: “Anglian Water isblaming thebuilding company at the back of the field, Rochford Council wanted nothing to do with it and the Environmental Agency is saying to go to the council.
"We just keep getting fobbed off.”
Diane Hough, 45, of Boston Avenue, said: “It was just horrid. You couldn’t have your windows open. When the weather was hot, it was a nightmare.”
Residents believe the filth finally started to be cleared by builders from Bellway Homes, who are working on a new housing estate behind the field.
An Anglian Water spokesman said the water was collecting in a pond, which most of the time was little more than a dip in the ground without any water in it, but was there to store rain to prevent flooding.
He added: “That water may come from local watercourses, surrounding streets and fields, or from our nearby surface water sewers. These are designed to overflow into the pond when heavy rain threatens to overwhelm them.
“The pond itself is not owned by us, though we do own sewers that feed in and out of it. We are not aware of any problem with the pipes that might stop the pond draining, but we will investigate to make sure.”
A council spokesman said it wasn’t involved in any part of the clear-up.
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