Sewer water in Harrogate beck branded a ‘disgrace’

NADV 1505271AM1 Waste pipes near the Hydro. (1505271AM1)
NADV 1505271AM1 Waste pipes near the Hydro. (1505271AM1)

Waste and sewer water which is leaking into Oakdale Beck after recent heavy rainfall has been branded a “disgrace” by a furious resident.

Drains and culvert screens leading into the stream have become blocked with waste from giant underground sewer chambers near the Harrogate Hydro.

Yorkshire Water has apologised after complaints, saying it will carry out extra checks to prevent it from happening again.

But one outraged resident has spoken of his disgust after discovering the waste water on a walk near the quiet stream.

“This shouldn’t be allowed to happen,” said the man, who asked not to be named.

“After all the heavy rain it’s bringing sewage down to the beck. It’s blocked right up.

“In this day and age, that is an absolute disgrace. It’s running into the beck and it smells to high heaven.

“It happens all the time when there’s heavy rain.

“Kids go down to play there. It’s disgusting.

“No wonder there’s no fish in the river.”

The giant underwater sewer chambers near the Hydro site were built in 2004 at cost of £1.1m.

This was because 15 of Harrogate’s combined sewers met in this area and, in times of heavy rainfall, said Yorkshire Water, they would overflow into a local watercourse.

The scheme, building a new chamber with special screens to hold back storm and sewage debris, was designed to stop this from happening.

The goal was to improve the quality of the water discharged into Oakdale Beck and work was completed in 2005.

A Yorkshire Water spokesman, when asked about the problem by the Harrogate Advertiser said this week: “We would like to apologise to any residents in Harrogate who have been affected by issues relating to the sewer chamber. Prolonged rainfall has caused a surge of water to bypass the screens we have in place there and run into the beck.

“In response to this, we will be carrying out regular checks of the system during times of heavy rain to try and prevent a reoccurrence of this incident.”