A Thames Water sewage pumping station has leaked sewage into a dry river bed in Whittonditch. The sewage leaked from the tank early last week and affected a field next to the river Aldbourne near Ramsbury.

It isn’t the first time that sewage has leaked from the same pumping station, a similar incident happened four years ago, which resulted in Thames Water being handed a hefty fine by the Environment Agency.

The owner of the land onto which the sewage escaped, Sir Martyn Arbib, and his river keeper Edward Starr discovered the damage caused by the leak and immediately informed both the Environment Agency and Thames Water. The field into which the sewage seeped is home to a small herd of Belted Galloway cattle.

River keeper Mr Starr was quoted in thisiswiltshire.co.uk as saying that: “I suspect the heavy rain we had on Saturday morning overloaded the pumps and blew the fuses.

“Without the pumps the pressure of the sewage built up until it erupted from a manhole in the field.

“There has not been any water in the Aldbourne for months and what you can now see is the sewage that formed a lagoon here on Sunday.”

The pumps were repaired by Thames Water but no fencing was placed around the slurry to prevent the cattle from coming into contact with it.

A Thames Water spokesperson said:

“Any pollution incident is deeply regrettable and we are working hard to try and minimise the impact of the sewage spill at Whittonditch.

“This was caused by a failure at a pumping station over the weekend, which has now been resolved.

“We are working with the Environment Agency to make sure the area is back to normal as soon as possible.”

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