Dirty water has turned a lake at a Weymouth tourist attraction 'yellow' after being pumped off a nearby construction site.

Following heavy rain over Easter, contractors working at the Queen Charlotte Nursing Home in Chickerell pumped dirty water - which had filled construction trenches - off the site and this ended up in two lakes at the neighbouring Bennetts Water Gardens in Putton Lane.

It has left the attraction’s owner, James Bennett, ‘dismayed’ after only just opening after a difficult winter.

The water gardens hold national and international collections of water lilies which are displayed in a series of ponds and lakes.

Dorset Echo: Owner James Bennett has been left 'dismayed' and 'upset'Owner James Bennett has been left 'dismayed' and 'upset' (Image: James Bennett)

Mr Bennett said: “The care home up there is having some extension building done, and the contractors were flooded out by the recent rainfall we have all been experiencing.

“Dirty water has built up on the site and they pumped the dirty water straight into our lakes.

“I am quite dismayed. We had just opened our national collection of waterlilies, which will bloom in May, it’s quite upsetting and it has left the wildlife quite discoloured with yellow water – we have just been trying to recover from the winter weather.”

The Environment Agency, which has visited the site, has been contacted for comment by the Echo - but it is understood the water at the lakes is not contaminated. 

Mr Bennett, who has been running the water gardens for 25 years, says that water was first pumped into the lakes on Monday, April 1, and then again on Tuesday April 2, but the contractors stopped after he spoke to the site manager.

He added: “It’s how we deal with it going forward, there is a cloudy type of water – like a milky cup of tea – we are fortunate we noticed it quite quickly and we managed to stop it spreading to our other lakes."

After Mr Bennett called the Environment Agency, an officer came to inspect and test the water in case it had been contaminated in any way.

Thankfully, it was ’good news' for the lake, and there is ‘nothing to worry about’ the Agency told Mr Bennett.

Dorset Echo: The water has been left discolured but it has been determined as clean follwoing an Environment Agency inspection The water has been left discolured but it has been determined as clean follwoing an Environment Agency inspection (Image: Jack Bennett)

However, the dirty water remains, and he fears it could impact trade if he is unable to open the lake as planned.

Mr Bennett said: “They checked for ammonia and oxygen levels, and they said there is nothing to worry about in that concern, going forward our problem is the dirty water.

“We were hoping to have it open next week, but we will have to see and assess it now.”

A Kingsley Healthcare spokesman, the company which runs the nursing home currently undergoing the extension work, said: “It’s very important for us to be a good neighbour and, of course, we regret any concerns raised by Bennetts Water Garden.

“The Environment Agency has visited the site and confirmed that although there is some discolouration, the pond water is clean.

"We have agreed with them a satisfactory way for our contractors to pump water from the trenches in the future.

“We believe the issue has only arisen because of the extreme wet weather experienced during the past weeks.

“We are currently carrying out a major extension and refurbishment project at Queen Charlotte, which will provide much needed high-quality care home facilities for the local community.”