Raw sewage floods onto Maer

South West water cleaned up an area of the Maer this week after raw sewage spilled from a manhole cover. The water giant apologised for the mess.

Dog owners walking on The Maer nature reserve were on Sunday forced to dodge raw sewage which had overflowed from a manhole cover near the footpath.

South West Water on Monday apologised for the mess and cleaned the area.

A spokeswoman for South West Water (SWW) said the company acted as soon as it received a report the sewer had flooded.

She said: “Our contractors investigated this earlier today and found the problem was caused by unusually heavy rainfall over the weekend. The area has now been cleaned.

“South West Water would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

“We have not received any further reports of problems in this area, but if customers have any concerns, they can call us on our free, 24-hour services helpline.”

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Dog walker Leonard Warwick, 78, from Lovelace Crescent, said the stinking raw sewage leaked over a large area of open ground and into the reeds.

He said: “It was terrible. It was definitely a health hazard. The dog kept rolling in it.”

In January this year SWW carried out a similar clean-up of the area and promised to monitor two manholes near the site.

• South West Water’s free, 24-hour services helpline is on 0800 169 1144.