Sewer leak could lead to court action

Raw sewage in the river Lune following heavy rain
Raw sewage in the river Lune following heavy rain
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Water company United Utilities is considering a prosecution against a company which caused raw sewage to leak into the river Lune earlier this year.

In April, a sewage pipe on the corner of St George’s Quay and Lune Road was accidentally drilled into, causing sewage to spill out into the river.

VHE Construction, contracted by land developers Luneside East Ltd to carry out work on the Luneside East housing development site, had been drilling boreholes to monitor groundwater in the area when the pipe was damaged.

The leak was eventually stopped a few days later; however the city council was forced to warn bathers of a “deterioration in water quality” in Morecambe Bay over the May Bank Holiday weekend. A spokesman for United Utilities said the company was now gathering evidence for a possible prosecution under the Government’s Water Act.

Its spokesman Shaun Robinson said: “A third party company caused damage to a rising main, and that caused a run off into the river.

“We’re currently looking at evidence to carry out a prosecution against that company.”

A spokesman for Luneside East Limited said that the company wasn’t aware of any proceedings, but that it would “act accordingly” in the event of this.

No one at company VHE Construction was available for comment as the Lancaster Guardian went to press.

Raw sewage in the river Lune last week was caused by overflowing storm drains following heavy rain.

Swirls of sewage could be seen in the river between Greyhound Bridge and St George’s Quay last Thursday (September 6).

United Utilities said it was currently undertaking a multi-million pound programme of works to improve water quality in the Lune, which includes the prevention of any further overflows into the river.

Meanwhile, United Utilities is due to resume work in Owen Road to try to remove a huge drill that became embedded in hard rock under the ground earlier this year.