On Friday 2nd February at around 2:30 pm, someone disposed of what appears to be a septic tank full of sewage waste into a storm drain in Oaklands. The result was a stream of foul slurry pouring from the storm drain outlet into the fresh water stream that borders our garden in Beech Close and feeds a tributary of the Cradley Brook at the bottom of our garden. We were fortunate enough to be in the garden at the time and so were able to pinpoint the time of this environmental crime.
We reported the incident to Severn Trent Water who reacted very swiftly and worked throughout the evening to identify the cause of the slurry pouring from the storm drain outlet. They returned the following morning and filled 3 bin bags with sanitary waste and flushed the storm drain and stream until the water flowed cleanly again.
Some of our neighbours were able to add detail and reported having seen a small tanker of a light colour (possibly yellow) with an elephant hose, working in the road at around 2:30pm that day. It was accompanied by a medium sized white van. Just before this, men were seen inspecting each of the man holes in the street in turn, presumably to identify the main sewer drain. A dark blue transit van was seen parked on the opposite side of the road at the top of Oaklands earlier in the day.
This appears to be someone fly tipping sewage. Had they picked the correct drain, no-one would have been any the wiser, though it would clearly still have been a crime. Our concern now is that this may happen again, if not in Oaklands, but somewhere else. We hope that by alerting the community of this illegal activity we shall all now be aware of the practice and take a more active questioning approach to unusual vehicles working in our streets. It is the last thing I would have expected a tanker in my street to be doing!
In addition to Severn Trent Water, the Environmental Agency and Herefordshire Council have been informed and would be interested if anyone has any further information.
Peter and Sue Warner