Agency claims ‘dead end’ on mystery Rasen Mill pollution

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Market Rasen Town Council is demanding the Health and Safety Executive investigate the source of pollution at Church Mill.

The move comes as the Environment Agency says it has “frustratingly come to rather a dead end” on the issue.

“We have worked with Anglian Water, Lincolnshire County Council, Highways and Internal Drainage Board to try and trace the source and cause of this pollution with no success,” Alice Calton, Environmental officer - Land and Water Team - told the council.

“CCTV surveying, dye tracing, sewer and surface water drain surveying has been conducted which found nothing. I have done a leaflet drop in the area and searched for archives of drainage maps for Market Rasen. We have exhausted our resources and methods on this incident. I have asked the Line manger whether we could get the sand bank surrounding the outfall to be dug out to improve the flow into the river. This cannot be done on grounds of budget cuts and due to the incident being a small scale/low environmental impact with funding reserved for larger scale/major pollutions,” she said.

“As for the possibly illegal sluice gate by Mill Court, we are in discussions with the IDB (drainage board) as to whether this can or should be removed. Regrettably unless new information should come to light or the nature of the pollution should change that may help us to find the source there is little more that can be done.”

Members at the meeting said the pollution has been there for years and the sewerage may be a health hazard, thus the Health and Safety Executive should be asked to investigate if the discharge is safe.

Mayor John Matthews said the council would write to the HSE, demanding it investigate and send it what the agency had told the council.

After the meeting, town and district councillor Ken Bridger told the Rasen Mail the ‘black gunge’ has been coming out of the pipes for years. An added problem was large rats which would chase away the ducks and eat their food, including chips. Thus, people should not feed the ducks as they were effectively feeding the rats, he said.