Search

Muswell Hill sewage stream kicks up a stink

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

Tom Franklin with supporters, including Green Party mayoral candidate Sian Berry, outside court

Eight campaigners cleared of any wrongdoing for their part in an arms fair protest may be dragged back to court after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lodged an appeal.

18:06
Advertising banners on lampposts in Haverstock Hill

Residents in Belsize Park say large estate agents banners which have gone up on lampposts throughout the area are an “ugly” eyesore and should not have been allowed by Camden.

Thames Water have discovered a well under Muswell Hill Broadway

Haringey Council has invited English Heritage to investigate the well’s history

Tulip Siddiq MP and Chris Percy with their newborn daughter Azalea Joy Percy

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, Tulip Siddiq, has said that mums being prevented from breastfeeding in public is “depressing” after a group of women were banned from breastfeeding at the Swiss Cottage Marriott.

Air pollution public meeting at St Stephens
Simon Birkett, founder of Clean Air London

A citizen science project has confirmed what Camden residents and environmentalists have long suspected - that we are breathing in dangerous levels of toxins right across the borough, even at the leafy heart of Hampstead Heath.

16:50
Abdul Rahim Sowe had sentence increased to life

A teenager who attacked and robbed a good Samaritan in Belsize Park as she provided directions before going on to bottle and stab a stranger in a Camden off-licence has had his sentence increased to life in prison.

15:06
The aftermath of the crash in Highgate Hill

A car was abandoned in Highgate following a crash in the early hours of yesterday.

Sharon Shoesmith is expected to speak out about her dismissal

A former Haringey social services boss is set to appear on a show discussing ‘demonising individuals’ on BBC Radio 4 tonight

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe