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A plumbing error sees sewer pipes run into rivers killing wildlife
Sewer pipes are running into Enfield's streams and rivers killing wildlife following a plumbing error.
A charity worker says she is "appalled" after the sewer pipes caused household waste to pollute rivers and streams.
Excrement and chemicals from some homes are flowing into the borough’s waterways, causing animals to die and leaving habitats ruined.
The issue has left many rivers and streams unattractive and project manager Aimee Felus, who works for waterways charity Thames21, said she is "appalled".
She said: "It is such a simple job to ensure that a sewer pipe is properly connected and the consequences of a misconnection are devastating for our rivers.”
Due to a plumbing fault, waste is flowing several times a day from some homes in Eversley Crescent, Green Dragon Lane, Maplin Close and Wades Hill into Houndsden stream in Winchmore Hill.
Ms Felus, who works on river projects along the Lea Valley, including Salmons and Pymmes Brooks, said: "With this misconnection, there is often a foul odour and there is no way people will want to walk their dog or go for a stroll down along the stream if there is this smell. Pymmes Park Lake has been drained because of the pollution.
“We are trying to make people more aware of this problem so they can check their homes. People are usually quite embarrassed to find they have a misconnection which is polluting their local river.”
Lucas Seaton, 28, of Wades Hill, Winchmore Hill, was concerned to hear of the issue and admitted he was unaware that pollution in the borough’s rivers and lakes was coming from a simple domestic misconnection.
Environmental protection team manager Chris Carthy said: “We are developing new ways to engage with our customers regarding misconnections, and have created an information card.
“This uses pictures and simple diagrams to describe the problem and explain the negative impact misconnections can have on watercourses.
“We also produced a DVD with the Environment Agency which will be used as the basis of a module in the Thames Water Approved Plumbers Scheme and form another important tool in raising awareness.”
In the misconnections, which are a criminal offence if found, household appliances such as toilets, kitchen sinks and washing machines are incorrectly plumbed into the surface water sewer instead of the foul sewer, causing excrement and poisonous waste flow into them.
It is thought that approximately 32,000 homes in Enfield have misconnected sewer pipes.
For more information about your own home go to connectright.org.uk and www.thames21.org.uk/love-the-lea
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