A slick of raw sewage makes is way down the River Ouse in York city centre.
These pictures were taken by reader Michael Neal, after a downpour on Thursday afternoon (9 September).
He told YorkMix it’s a regular occurrence and needs to be stopped.
He said: “There is some kind of septic drain sump near Boots on Coney Street that sometimes makes a stink! Too much surface water makes it overflow – happens every deluge.”
Michael also said he saw sanitary towels and wipes heading down the river, and clearly it poses a health hazard to river users as well as being very unpleasant for residents and visitors.
“This needs addressing,” he said.
We contacted both the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water about the issue.
This is what a spokesperson for the Environment Agency told us.
We are grateful to members of the public who report concerns about pollution of our rivers.
Storm overflows are designed to discharge diluted sewage to rivers or the sea at times of heavy rainfall to prevent it backing up into homes and streets. However, blockages in the sewers, often caused by fats and wet wipes being flushed and poured down the drains, can cause the overflows.
The Environment Agency is working actively with Yorkshire Water to ensure overflows in York are properly controlled and the harm they do to the environment stopped.
There is still much to do to improve the quality of our water and we can all play our part by not by keeping our sewers free of wet wipes and other sanitary products as well as ensuring fats, oils and grease are not poured down the sink.
This is what a spokesperson for Yorkshire Water told us.
We have combined sewer overflows (CSOs) on our network, which reduce the risk of sewage backing up and flooding homes and businesses during heavy rainfall.
The discharge is consented by the EA and is heavily diluted by the rain we’ve experienced in the last 24 hours.