Complaints about 'vile smell' from Wealdstone Brook

Sewage in Wealdstone Brook

Sewage in Wealdstone Brook - Credit: LDRS

A North West London river continues to be blighted by sewage, which residents say has created a “vile smell”. 

Wealdstone Brook, which runs through Harrow and Brent, has regularly been flooded with sewage water following blockages in nearby Victorian-era pipes. 
Those who use the parks which the brook flows through have complained about the “stench” that results, and there are fears it could harm children and animals who might go near it. 

In a statement on social media, the Friends of Woodcock Park, which has consistently campaigned to improve the state of the river, said: “It is not pleasant walking near the brook and the smell is noticeable before you reach [it]. There is sewage film on the water throughout the park, please keep your children and dogs away from the water.”

An application for a new housing development by the brook was approved last week, where resident John Poole described the sorry situation. He said: “Last week, Wealdstone Brook was at its worst ever. Human excrement was seen floating in the shallow waters of the brook through Woodcock Park. 

“The smell from the brook was vile. The water was more than polluted – it was toxic. In 50 years living in Brent close to the brook I have never known it as bad.”

He added that those living in the Kenton neighbourhood were battling “chemical warfare on a daily basis” due to the pollution from the river. The local Green Party has also called on authorities in the area, including Brent Council and Thames Water, to take action to ensure the brook is cleared up. 

A Thames Water spokesperson said: “We’re aware of pollution at Wealdstone Brook which we suspect has been caused by misconnected pipes. We’ve met with the environmental health team at Brent Council and the local residents association to look at next steps for rectifying the situation and we’re currently arranging a thorough clean of the watercourse.

“Previously we have found evidence of pollution into Wealdstone Brook from misconnected pipes, which allow household waste to get into the surface water sewer rather than the foul network.

“As part of our investigation into this pollution we’ve been carrying out sewer cleaning in Brookfield Crescent over the last couple of weeks, which has now been completed and we’ll continue to work with local councils and residents on tackling misconnected businesses and properties in the area.”