Sewer pipes which were buried deep beneath the river line at Holmfirth have become exposed after years of erosion. And, the chief constable of the Graveship of Holme, Arthur Quarmby, has warned that unless something is done, the pipes could pose a serious pollution threat.

The exposed pipes could pose a problem if they were broken by a falling tree or further erosion. Mr Quarmby has said that the flow rate of the river Holme increased in 1944 after a weir was removed, the consequential reduction in silt levels has resulted in the pipes being exposed after all these years.

If the pipes did break, it would result in damaging consequences for Holmfirth, as thousands of gallons of raw sewage may run through the village.

The sewer problem seems to have hit a snag however, as it has yet to be established who owns the exposed pipes. A spokesperson from Yorkshire Water stated that up to now they have been unable to determine if they owned the pipes. She stated:

“We take our environmental responsibilities seriously and will be sending out a technician to investigate the pipes across this section of the River Holme.

“Our records show that there is a public sewer in the area, but the pipes could also be private and owned by other individuals, which we will know once we have visited the location.

“We carry out a regular programme of pipe inspections across the region to check that they are operating as they should be and are suitably protected and positioned for their surrounding environments.

“Once we have determined whether the pipes in question are public sewers that are still in use we will assess their suitability to the location.”

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