Local council bosses have been condemned for not acting quickly enough after foul water caused part of a car park in Weymouth to be blocked off. The problem in Melcombe Regis car park was first reported to the Weymouth and Portland Borough Council at the end of June, but was not fixed until a week later. This left holidaymakers and business owners in the area to navigate around a pool of dirty water. The pool in the car park left residue in the area that required specialist cleaning, but this was not carried out until a week after the problem was first reported.
Nigel Duff who runs the Palm House Café which backs onto the car park said that at one point the pool was up to his boundary and he believes it was putting people off his business. He said that if the incident had occurred outside the council offices they would have acted much faster. The problem was first brought to the attention of Mr.Duff when a customer came in saying that a drain was leaking into the nearby car park. Mr.Duff then called the council who passed him on to their waste management division, followed by environmental health. Over the weekend, Mr.Duff made further calls to an out of office number and eventually, Dorset County Council got utility company Wessex Water to come out to have a look at the problem. It transpired that as the problem was on council private land, it was not the responsibility of the water company to fix.
Following this, a drainage company attempted to clear the pool but needed a bigger tanker in order to be successful. The issue was finally resolved, however Mr.Duff has hit out at the borough council for not being pro-active enough. He said the smell put people off coming to his business, as it was ‘incredible’ how bad it smelt. The Transport and Infrastructure spokesman for Weymouth and Portland Borough council apologised for any inconvenience caused, explaining that the need for specialist cleaning is what caused the delay.
A spokesman for Wessex Water commented on the incident, saying:
“The manhole that was leaking water in Melcombe Regis car park is private property which is owned by the Borough Council. Therefore, it is not the responsibility of Wessex Water to repair. However, we have been in touch with the council to advise them of the leak.”