Councillors are demanding action after a York nature reserve was blighted by a leak of raw sewage.
Fulford Ings, a site of special scientific interest (SSSI), suffered the leak over a week ago because of a broken manhole cover.
This was quickly reported on 22 October by charity St Nick’s, who manage the reserve, but they say they didn’t hear anything back.
However the water company told YorkMix that they did take action the same day.
Fulford councillor Kate Ravilious has now taken up the case.
Labour Cllr Ravilious said the affected manhole cover is located near the University of York boathouse, close to the River Ouse and at the northern end of Fulford Ings.
She urged the public to avoid this specific part of the Ings until action is taken.
“Fulford Ings SSSI is a valued place for local residents to visit and spend time and this is obviously an issue that needs addressing as soon as possible,” she said.
“The damage was probably caused by recent floods meaning it was unavoidable, but the cover needs replacing quickly to ensure that further leaks don’t occur when Yorkshire Water next releases raw sewage during a storm overflow event.
“There are people living nearby on houseboats so public health does need to be considered.
“While I understand Yorkshire Water has a lot to respond to during and after floods, no response to acknowledge a reported problem isn’t good enough”.
She has also reported the problem to Natural England and the Environment Agency.
A spokesperson for Yorkshire Water said: “Our technicians visited Fulford Ings on 22 and 29 October to respond to reports of a sewage leak.
“We’ve investigated the issue and found that this was due to high river levels during Storm Babet which inundated our sewer network and caused it to back up.
“On inspection, the manhole isn’t broken but had been lifted by the high flows in the network and has since been put back. The levels in the sewer are now back to normal and we’ve arranged for the area to be cleaned up.”