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 News Stories

Yesterday, 14:44
Hero German Shepherd Schutzen with John Chandler's son Leslie, eight, and sister Christine, seven, who he saved from the fire. Picture: Alistair Macdonald

It is now a proud Highgate landmark, but beloved Lauderdale House would have burned to the ground long ago had it not been for the actions of one brave pooch.

Yesterday, 17:15
West End star Tim McArthur (centre) with Louise Clayton (left) and Jackie Marks. Picture: Tony Gay

Tim McArthur is an actor, singer, director and presenter who is starring in Bathhouse The Musical at Above The Stag Theatre. He has lived in Highgate since 1997 and programmed Cabaret in The House at Lauderdale House since 2001. On April 17 he interviews his dear chum, actress Su Pollard, to raise money the Lauderdale Transformed crowdfunding campaign.

Yesterday, 16:30
Plans for a 13-room basement extension at Grove Lodge in Hampstead have caused an outcry from neighbours

Plans to dig a 13-room basement under a landmark Grade II listed farmhouse in Hampstead, immortalised by painter John Constable, have caused an outcry from conservationists and divided neighbours.

Yesterday, 15:05
Pupils make a splash for their chosen charities

Pupils from Channing School raised waves of cash for good causes by taking part in a sponsored Swimathon.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Munch on a tasy three course dinner at The Refinery!

“Where to go for a drink near Great Portland Street?” was previously met with blank expressions and shrugs for those local to the area, not anymore, thanks to the opening of The Refinery at Regent’s Place, the eighth bar and restaurant from hugely-successful group Drake & Morgan.

Funky adidias iPhone cases up for grabs!

We’ve teamed up with adidas Originals to give away four iPhone 5/5s cases.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder