A major leak in a Lincoln sewer caused by the illegal dumping of tarmac, blankets and household waste has taken three days to clean up.
Anglian Water staff responded to the leak on land between Greetwell Road and Carlton Boulevard and came across the bedding, bin bags of rubbish and tarmac rubble.
The dumped rubbish had caused a blockage resulting in sewage slipping out, covering a large area and entering two ponds and a stream.
Tankers were brought to the site, where they remained for three days while cleaning the area.
An investigation has led the company to believe that the items were dumped in the sewer through a manhole cover on the site.
Dumping waste into a sewer is a criminal act and could land the perpetrator with a large fine.
Anglian Water has now been forced to weld down the manhole covers in the area and will be monitoring the site for any further incidents.
The company’s sewer technicians attend around 30,000 blockages a year across the region, costing £15 million.
Victoria Wilkinson, Pollution Prevention Manager, said: “This blockage caused a big and very unpleasant mess. We had two tankers on site for three days to clean the area.
“We don’t believe any people, pets or wildlife were harmed by the waste – but it could have been much worse.
“It looks likely somebody lifted a manhole cover and dumped this waste in the sewer. The site is around ten minutes away from the nearest household waste recycling site which is where this kind of material should have been taken.
“This kind of irresponsible behaviour puts people and animals’ health and safety at risk, causes huge environmental problems and costs thousands to clean up.”