Environment Agency admit concern of ongoing Oakdale Beck pollution

Waste pipes near the Hydro in 2014
Waste pipes near the Hydro in 2014

The Environment Agency has admitted it is concerned by the ongoing issue of waste and sewer water polluting Oakdale Beck.

Last week, the Advertiser reported that a furious resident had complained that drains and culvert screens leading into the stream had become blocked with waste.

The waste from the giant underwater sewer chambers near the Harrogate Hydro had been caused by a build up of rags blocking the grill opening up onto Oak Beck.

Despite Yorkshire Water clearing the rags, a blockage was found in the hopper and the Environment Agency said they are continuing on working to address the ongoing problem.

A spokesperson for the agency said: “The blockage caused debris to form on the outfall grill and the operatives were able to release the blockage by cleaning the outfall grill and hopper.

“The Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water have previously investigated issues of discolouration and sewage fungus at Oak Beck thought to be caused by one or more sewer misconnections.

“Attempts to trace the pollution source have so far proved to be unsuccessful. The infrastructure at the beck is maintained by Yorkshire Water, and the site is regularly monitored by the Environment Agency.

“The Environment Agency remain concerned about issues relating to smell, discolouration and the rags, and we are committed to improving the overall water quality in Oak Beck.

“Yorkshire Water has indicated to us that they will be bringing new people in to look at the issue, and we look forward to engaging with them at our next meeting.”

The giant underwater sewer chambers near the Hydro site were built in 2004 at cost of £1.1m to stop sewers overflowing into a local watercourse. The scheme, building a new chamber with screens to hold back storm and sewage debris, was designed to stop this from happening.

Coun Trevor Chapman (New Park), said he was aware of the problems and was concerned that the problem had recently reoccurred.

He said: “It’s quite a worrying problem as the polluted water carries on into the River Nidd so we will approach Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency in due course to find a try and find a solution.”