COUNCIL bosses have been blasted for not acting quickly enough after foul water blocked off part of a Weymouth car park.
The problem in Melcombe Regis car park was first reported to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council on Friday, but wasn’t full fixed until Tuesday leaving holiday makers and business owners to negotiate a pool of foul water.
The stinking pool left residue in the car park which required specialist cleaning – done a week after it was first reported.
Nigel Duff, runs the Palm House Cafe, that backs onto the car park. He said at one point the stinking pool was right up to his boundary and he believes it put people off going to his business.
He said: “If this had happened outside the council offices they would have acted much quicker.”
Last Friday they could smell ‘something in the air,’ Mr Duff said, and then a customer came in saying a drain was leaking into the nearby car park.
Mr Duff said he called Weymouth and Portland Borough council, who passed him to waste management, who then passed him to environmental health.
Over the weekend Mr Duff made further calls to Dorset County Council’s out of hours number and they got Wessex Water to come out.
However, as the leaking foul water was on the borough council’s private land, it was not the responsibility of the water company to fix. Mr Duff said part of the car park was coned off on Sunday.
After calls and emails, a drainage company turned up on Monday and tried to clear it but needed a bigger tanker. The issue was finally resolved on Tuesday and the car park was cleaned last Thursday.
Mr Duff hit out at the borough council, saying they should have been more pro-active, he said: “It’s not quick enough.
“I think it’s put people off coming to my business.
“The foul water came up to my gates. The smell was incredible.”
Cllr Christine James, Transport and Infrastructure spokesman for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council said: “A contractor visited the site on Monday to free the blockage, but there was some excess residue that required specialist cleaning equipment.
“This was completed on Thursday and the cordon removed shortly after.
“We apologise for any inconvenience.”
A spokesman for Wessex Water said: “The manhole in Melcombe Regis car park that is leaking foul water is on private property 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.”