Raw sewage has poured into the Foss – and may be responsible for killing fish in the river.
On Saturday, Haxby residents reported a burst water main. One posted the video below, from Landing Lane, saying: “Yorkshire Water dragging their heels, been like it for hours – also raw sewage pouring into the River Foss.”
Another said they spoke to the Yorkshire Water team after they arrived. The Landing Lane resident said: “Rain imploded and water broke through tarmac.
“Anybody going up dog walkers need a pair of wellies as raw sewage and mud on path leading up to my first field on left.”
A resident contacted YorkMix and said: “The sewage has killed fish in the Foss – they have been seen floating on the surface.”
We reported yesterday that the Environment Agency brought in pumps to aerate the water in the River Foss because fish were dying.
They said this was because oxygen levels are low. But the agency confirmed to YorkMix that they were investigating whether the sewage had killed the fish.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We responded quickly to reports of dead and distressed fish in the River Foss in York city centre on Monday morning. Our monitoring identified low dissolved oxygen and some elevated ammonia levels in the water at this part of the river.
“As a result, we began a pumping operation to try and save the fish by aerating sections of the River Foss in York city centre. This provides pools of oxygenated water that act as safe havens where the fish can breathe.
“Sadly, a small number of fish have died, but the increase in oxygen levels and improved water quality provided by our ongoing pumping operation have saved many more.
“Similar incidents have happened in this area before, where weed and algal growth brought on by warm weather led to decreased oxygen levels in the water.
“We are investigating whether this was the cause this time, and whether a recent sewage spill may have contributed to the issue.”
Yorkshire Water said the torrential rain had led to a rise in demand for its emergency teams which had delayed their response to the Landing Lane leak.
This was caused by a burst water main.
A spokesperson said: “Once we arrived at Landing Lane, we worked quickly to isolate the pumping station, implement tankering and begin the repair to reduce the impact on residents and the environment as quickly as possible.
“We understand how unpleasant flooding of any kind can be and we are working with residents to complete a full clean-up operation.”