London beauty spot turned into open sewer | News

As it flows through East Barnet, Pymmes Brook occasionally gives north London a bucolic feel. At points, this tributary of the Lea river winds its way through patches of parkland and forest. At one pleasant and grassy spot, a large willow stoops over the water.

There is, however, something nasty lurking under the surface: because houses in the neighbourhood have not had their toilets connected to the sewage system properly, Pymmes Brook has effectively become an open sewer.

Under the willow, an outlet flows into the tributary. This pipe is only supposed to carry rainwater that flows off roads and gutters. Because toilets flush into this “surface water” system, the outlet frequently releases very high levels of faecal bacteria. These bugs, which should have been

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