Foul smelling substance covering roads and footpaths of Colney Heath

High Street, Colney Heath

High Street, Colney Heath - Credit: Archant

A foul smelling substance has been running through the streets and footpaths of Colney Heath.

The village parish council has received more than 100 calls, emails and messages this morning of both a sewage smell and a waste type substance in the High Street, Coursers Road, and down the A414.

Cars have been forced to drive through the muck, covering their tyres, and pedestrians have had to walk through the waste on the streets.

Although there have been conflicting reports on the cause, it was actually a lorry travelling towards Agrivert’s North London AD Facility on Coursers Farm.

The driver got lost, and while trying to turn around slopped its waste onto the street - which was a byproduct of pet food.

Residents took to Facebook to complain. Marylin Henning said: “Oh my it’s putrid what is it [sic]”

Steph King Glad added: “Glad to see it’s being slowly cleaned.

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“Just so you are aware it is all over the footpath by the shop. So anyone walking there please be careful.”

The AD plant processes 50,000 tonnes of waste food from both St Albans household recycling caddies and Herts and Essex businesses, each year.

Commercial director of Agrivert, Harry Waters, said the lorry was carrying a trial load and Agrivert has decided that its waste is not suitable for the plant.

He said the carrier should not have been in those streets: “To me, it’s a result of a vehicle getting lost and so there are some questions which need to be asked, which will be asked.”

Harry stressed that Agrivert are not responsible for the haulage container, which was waste carrier company CP Allen and Son.

It has not yet responded to request for comment.

Colney Heath Parish Council announced on their Facebook Page this morning: “Multiple agencies including the police, county councillors, county council, district council, Thames Water, Affinity Water, Environment Agency and parish councillors have been informed and are working together to try and solve the issue.”

Colney Heath Parish Council clerk, Lisa Chaplin, reassured residents that it was not a threat to public health and that nothing has seeped into the River Colne: “I think the smell will linger for a bit but we have cleaned it with disinfectant and will keep on scrubbing it over and over to make sure.”