Gloucestershire field flooded with sewage near housing estate sparks health concerns

  • Footage shows the extent of the sewage leak near to the housing estate. Credit: LDRS.

A sewage leak has sparked health and environmental concerns in a Gloucestershire village, with reports of dogs being sick after drinking from a nearby watercourse.

Persimmon Homes wrote to residents last week to make them aware of an issue currently affecting the pumping station near the Cleevelands estate in Bishop’s Cleeve.

The house builder said the pumps had stopped working which resulted in “the need to tanker out a large volume of liquid”.

The Environment Agency confirmed that it is aware of the issue and its officers are investigating the situation.

The issue is understood to have been caused by a blockage which has now been removed from the pumping station.

Pumps have been used to remove the standing water and divert it away from the nearby brook.

Pumps are being used to get rid of the standing water. Credit: LDRS

Persimmon Homes said in a statement to residents that it was working with the Environment Agency to rectify the issue promptly and efficiently.

It said: “However, [we] will be fencing off areas of the public open space to allow us to work and resolve the current issue,”

“Please ensure you do not move any of the fencing once it is erected. We apologise in advance for any disruption and inconvenience this may have caused.”

Tewkesbury Borough Councillor Murray Stewart (LD, Bishops Cleeve West) said residents are concerned about the issue and are calling for a thorough clean of the watercourse at the site and downstream.

He said: “Residents are understandably concerned about the sewage leaking into the water course.

“One resident has already reported their dog drinking water down stream yesterday and their dog is now being sick.

“The Cleevelands estate has a lot of families with children and pets and the water course is a haven for wildlife. This incident cannot happen again.

“The clean up attempt by the developer seems to be straw bails in the water course which feels like a very basic and cheap filtration measure so I hope there will be a serious clean-up operation.

“Residents would much prefer to be connected to the main sewage system but at the very least they need to be assured that the pumping station is fit for purpose.

“Myself and [Tewkesbury Borough] Councillor Richard Stanley are calling for a thorough, professional testing and thorough clean of the water course at the site and downstream.”

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency confirmed it is aware of the situation.

They said: “Our officers are investigating this situation in Bishop’s Cleeve and advising the builders and partner agencies to prevent foul water entering the local watercourse. If local residents have environmental concerns they should contact our 24/7 hotline on 0800 807060.”

A spokesperson for Persimmon Homes said: “We are aware of this matter and have been working hard to rectify the situation. We currently have tankers on site which have been clearing the debris. The immediate area surrounding the public open space is temporarily fenced off whilst these works are carried out.

"We have been working with the Environment Agency and have kept local residents and Tewksbury Borough Council informed of the situation.

"The safety of our residents and their pets is of paramount importance. We are working to resolve this matter at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Credit: Carmelo Garcia/Local Democracy Reporting Service