Sewage spill along Jersey's Vallée des Vaux likely to return if there is more torrential rain

If Jersey has more heavy rain to come, sewage could spill out from manholes in some parts of the island, after some systems have struggled to contain it.

The island's Head of Liquid Waste has been working to deal with a recent spill along the stream at Vallée des Vaux in St Helier.

Duncan Berry says drier conditions are needed to fix a network of pipes that are allowing the sewer to spill above ground.

He has sought to assure islanders that it is not harmful to human health, saying it mainly just water and is so dilute, that it should not be dangerous to people or the wider environment.

By the time it gets to St Aubin's Bay it won't effect on the bathing water quality because it is that dilute. It's not ideal, it's not nice, not nice for people being able to see this, it shouldn't be happening. We will be addressing it.

Duncan Berry, Head of Liquid Waste, IHE

However it means in the short-term islanders could once again see some unsightly things, as Patrick Hogge did when he was on a recent walk along Vallée des Vaux with his daughter.

I probably would have thought it was water until I started seeing other things coming out of the drain and you could smell it as well. It smelt like a toilet down here.

Patrick Hogge, local resident.
Patrick Hogge was recently on a walk along Vallée des Vaux when he saw the sewage. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Once the island does get a sustained period of dry weather during springtime, the plan is to deal with the sewers as soon as possible and address the problem.

We're going to increase the sewer capacity in the road and put a bigger piper or an overflow pipe in. We've also done a survey of the catchment last year so we're going to go and find where all the defects are in the system and go and repair them.

Duncan Berry, Head of Liquid Waste, IHE