Spring causes a stink on Daventry road

The stagnant pool caused by the spring in Somerville Road, with the water flowing down the hill in the background.
The stagnant pool caused by the spring in Somerville Road, with the water flowing down the hill in the background.

A fresh water spring on a Daventry estate is turning the air not-so-fresh.

The spring in Somerville Road on the town’s Stefen Hill estate is no babbling source of clean mineral water prime for bottling and selling.

Instead it has formed pools of stagnant water, which during the summer months have become choked with algae and weeds, leading to a decidedly smelly problem for those living nearby.

And the real problem is that no-one seems to know who’s responsible for it, or what to do about it.

The spring started out decades ago in the pocket park at the top of the road, and over the years the spot where it emerges from the ground has moved down the slope, until now where it emerges at the bottom of Janet Morris’ drive.

She said: “It’s caused a real problem this summer because if the weather’s warm, it smells.

“It started off years ago on the park on the slope of the grass.

“Then it moved and was coming up on my neighbour’s drive. Now it comes up on the path at the bottom of mine.”

The water then trickles down the road, causing patches of boggy ground all along the verge.

Mrs Morris said: “I’ve had the water board out and the council and they all say it’s not their problem. I can’t get someone out to dig up the road and pavement because I don’t own it. But it stinks in the summer, and in the winter the water freezes into a sheet down the slope where people have to walk or drive.

“Really it can’t take that much to sort it out – there’s a storm drain in the road on the other side from the spring. Surely it wouldn’t take much to put in a conduit and put it into the drains?

“My other concern is that my husband said before he died that all the services run in the same line down the road the spring has been taking – what if it damages the cables or pipes?”

Spring water can be a tricky area to pin down responsibility. If a spring appears on your land there is a common law ‘right of drainage’ for natural water that allows it to flow downhill on to neighbouring land no matter what the damage.

But if you channel it, or get any work to pipe it away wrong, and the water then damages neighbouring land you are liable.