QUESTIONS are being asked as to why it took a water company so long to act over a major sewage leak, a councillor says.

Business owners and councillors are annoyed with the response from Thames Water following the incident last week. 

South Ascot councillor Linda Yong says Thames Water and Affinity Water were both contacted last Monday (October 16) when water began leaking into the coal yard near Ascot station.

“Both said it was the other one’s problem,” said Cllr Yong. “They weren’t sure if it was sewage or water. All this while the water is continuing to come into the yard. Fortunately the yard is brick and very deep. It managed to contain the water, but then it started to come out from the gate and flooded the road.

“At 11am on Tuesday, I called the Royal Borough and they sent someone from Affinity. They established it was sewage water and therefore the responsibility of Thames Water. By this time it was getting serious.”

Thames Water turned off the pumping station, says Cllr Yong, to stop the flow of water. 

“The pipe in question went right under the railway line so there was a fear it was going to completely flood the tracks.”

Cllr Yong says the water was ‘squirting’ five or six metres into the air and businesses on the park were forced to abandon their cars at the site. 

Cllr Yong says there are fears that the sewage has infiltrated the water supply at the park and checks are being carried out. 

“There will be an inquiry as to why it took Thames Water so long to act,” added Cllr Yong. “We couldn’t get on to the site because it was a health hazard. It was extremely frustrating that they didn’t seem to want to take any responsibility.”

Thames Water released the following updated statement: “We’re really sorry for the disruption the burst has caused to a small number of companies at the business park. We’ve been cleaning up and disinfecting the affected areas and will do all we can to get everything back to normal for them.”

The company has been contacted for further comment but had not responded by the time the News went to press.