Search

Muswell Hill sewage stream kicks up a stink

PUBLISHED: 07:01 14 April 2012

Consultant ecologist Edward Milner at the polluted stream in Coldfall Woods. Picture: Dieter Perry

Consultant ecologist Edward Milner at the polluted stream in Coldfall Woods. Picture: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

A stinking stream that carries raw sewage through a popular park will have new reed beds planted in a fresh bid to decontaminate it.

The belching brook, which runs through Coldfall Woods in Muswell Hill, is polluted by waste from surrounding homes that have been misconnected by rogue plumbers.

Long loathed by residents and families, who complain the putrid water poses a health risk to children who play in the woods, fresh reeds will be planted to detoxify the stream.

But concerns have been raised the rushes are being planted in the wrong part of the stream, meaning the problem will fester.

Edward Milner, 69, a consultant ecologist, said: “The stream is cloudy and really stinks, particularly in the hot weather.

“There are children who go to the wood and play nearby, and it is concerning because if they go into the stream it could be very harmful.

“It is absurd money is being spent on reeds that don’t actually do the job they are designed to do.”

The leak was discovered many years ago and investigations by Thames Water discovered that around two dozen homes are feeding raw sewage into the open stream.

After a barrage of complaints from residents, two reed beds were planted five years ago. The reeds feed on bacteria, providing a cheap and organic way of filtering the water.

But Mr Milner, a father-of-two from Western Park, Crouch End, says one of the drainage pipes pumping in the contaminated water is below the lowest reed bed, and remains un-cleansed.

He said: “It is absurd this problem still exists, and it is just so disappointing that now money is available its still not being used as it should be.

“I don’t blame the Friends of Coldfall Wood, this problem should have been addressed years ago.”

Linda Alliston, chairwoman of the Friends of Coldfall Woods, defended the position of the reeds.

She said: “They are right at the top of the steam where the sewage leaks in. They definitely made a difference when they were planted, but now one of the beds has stopped working.

“The sewage is a real problem and very unpleasant. The smell is bad all the time. But hopefully we will see an improvement when these works are finished.”

A Thames Water spokeswoman said: “There is a lot of work that goes into identifying which properties are not properly connected to the sewers. We have gone through that process, informed the homeowners what they need to do to connect properly.

“A number of the homes have made those changes.”

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 12:18

The future of a family centre which is battling a lack of funding is closer to being secured after 127 children took part in a fun run.

Yesterday, 11:32

A mother-of-nine and her nephew became innocent victims of a “vendetta of violence” when they were shot dead in their own home in East Finchley, the Old Bailey has heard.

Yesterday, 11:20

The Whittington Hospital’s fertility centre is opening its own sperm bank and calling for men between 18 and 40 to donate.

Yesterday, 10:52

A man was subjected to a “disgraceful and prolonged” sexual assault on a busy Victoria Line train between Finsbury Park and King’s Cross.

Yesterday, 10:33

Fire crews tackled a blaze that tore through a three-storey terraced house in Kentish Town.

Yesterday, 10:19

Police are searching for a man after presents were stolen from a Primrose Hill home on Christmas Eve.

Yesterday, 07:00

The tragic death of nine-year-old chess champion Michael Uriely from an asthma attack is hearbreaking enough.

Mon, 14:09

The Alternative Clothes Show returned to Crouch End last Saturday, March 25, where students from City and Islington College joined local models to showcase a range of dazzling outfits crafted using recycled materials.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now