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Raw sewage floods Dollis Brook in Finchley after Thames Water pump failure
Raw sewage flooded a river full of wildlife in Finchley when a nearby pump failed and overflowed on Saturday.
Neighbours woke to an “horrendous” stench after faeces spilled over into Dollis Brook, in Gordon Road.
Thames Water is working with the Environment Agency to minimise damage to the brook, which is known to be home to owls, water fowl, and a variety of aquatic plants.
The sewer company’s engineers carried out emergency repairs to the large pump on Saturday but strong, unpleasant smells are still causing misery for people living nearby.
Claire Shaffer, of Broughton Avenue, described the incident as “totally unfair”.
She said: “In this hot weather, the smell has been horrendous - it’s made me feel quite sick.
“Lots of people living around here have small children, and one can only wonder what they’ve been breathing in.”
Engineers at the site have installed tankers to remove pollution and aerate the water in a bid to increase oxygen levels for wildlife.
A Thames Water representative said it was not clear how long the clean up would take.
Neighbours have been left frustrated by the pump’s “noisy” engines, which have been running as late as 7pm.
Several people also said they felt disappointed with the low level of communication from Thames Water.
Although some received a direct apology from company representatives, many others claim to have had very little contact.
Rita Levy, of Broughton Grove, said: “Thames Water doesn’t really communicate with us. We had no idea what was going on.
“I hope the problem can be resolved, and that they will communicate effectively with us in the future.”
The spillage is not the first time residents have been aware of contamination in the brook.
Frank MacCarthy, of nearby Waverley Grove, has had concerns about the “unclean, stagnant” water for a number of years.
He said: “There needs to be an independent investigation into the incident. Remedial action should be taken to prevent any future recurrence. ”
A representative of Thames Water told the Times Series that any pollution of the river was “deeply regrettable” and said the company was working hard to minimise the impact.