Sunday, 6 September 2015

Un-sanitary saga

We are on our annual pilgrimage around the canals and we have moored up in Brauston. We normally use the water point outside Midland chandlers. But as we were returning up the Grand Union and as luck would have it, we stopped at the water point just after Braunston Marina. 

The Big Stink
The following day and as if by magic I walked round to Midland Chandlers to purchase a bottle of Odourlos which we use in our pump out tank. However, I was soon aware that there was a rank odour of raw sewage.  Literally following my nose I went to towards the water point where there was a boat filling up with water. Luckily for them the breeze was carrying the smell away. However, unluckily for them they did not realise that the elsan was overflowing and the sewage was soaking away into the grass along side the water point under their feet. The elsan has a CaRT aware sign on the door - unfortunately, the overflowing effluent was ignoring the notice. As presumably other people were as there was cardboard acting as a mat to give access through the effluent to the elsan.

Sticky Issue
A short time afterwards a couple with their grandchild visiting the canal actually walked through the sewage without realising. This has all the makings of a serious public health issue. While the door to the elsan has a warning sign, and a nearby patch of grass is fenced off. The water point is open for business and is encouraging boaters and boat watching visitors to this part of the canal. A couple of members of staff at Midland Chandlers said the smell created a problem for them in the warm weather when they wanted to have their doors open.  After all millions of flies can't all be wrong.

Un-Sanitary Saga
The ongoing problems with the elsan seems to have now become something of a saga that continues without a resolution.  It seems that millions of pounds can be spent on towpath upgrades for the high speed towpath terrorists known affectionately as Lycra Louts. While at the same time, a serious public health hazard is allowed to continue to overflow and soak into the ground an presumably into the canal.

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