Kenton community transforms Woodcock Park's once boggy sewage-filled Wealdstone Brook
PUBLISHED: 18:04 16 October 2018 | UPDATED: 18:04 16 October 2018
A river blighted with sewage pouring out of people's toilets in Kenton has led to a giant community effort to start replanting flowers.
Neighbours, school pupils, and staff from Thames Water got down on their knees to plant blooms in Woodcock Park to improve the banks of the long-suffering Wealdstone Brook.
Working with the Friends of Woodcock Park (FWP), Brent Council and the Lanes Group, Thames Water has worked to eradicate pollution in the park in the last five years by flushing dirty water away from the brook.
During an investigation, which started in 2013, Thames Water discovered 729 wrongly connected appliances in 140 nearby homes.
Connection to the wrong pipes by builders or contractors meant waste from toilets, sinks, washing machines and baths was plopping into the river instead of sewage pipes, Thames Water said.
The company said it had worked with the council and Environment Agency to help resolve the issue, but doesn’t have any enforcement powers to get the misconnections rectified. They said responsibility lies with the property owners.
Hours spent weeding and litter picking by locals now means park-goers can finally see across and into a clear brook.
Thames Water contractor Cappagh donated £1,000 worth of flowers, shrubs and bulbs for the clean-up on October 2, which pupils from nearby St Gregory’s Catholic Science College and Uxendon Manor Primary School helped plant.
Joy Rickman, chair of FWP, has been campaigning for improvements since 2002. She said: “If it weren’t for Thames Water none of this would have been possible. They’ve really galvanised the project into action.”
Thames Water employees volunteered through the company’s Time to Give scheme, where staff can spend two days a year on community work.
Neil Levy of Thames Water said: “We’re pleased to support the enhancements at Wealdstone Brook and Woodcock Park which demonstrate the vital role we play in caring for and protecting the environment.”
Leslie Williams, a parks officer for Brent Council, added: “Everyone has worked extremely hard on this project. We look forward to continuing this partnership, which has been a great success for Woodcock Park.”