Mystery of the orange water returns to Colne

The wtaer at the bottom of Knotts Lane, Colne
The wtaer at the bottom of Knotts Lane, Colne
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The recent heavy rain has brought back mysterious orange water to a street in Colne.


Despite investigations by United Utilities, Lancashire County Council and Pendle Borough Council, the source of the organge water in Knotts Lane is still not clear.

Waterside Colne town councillor Alice Mann, who lives on Knotts Lane, said that the orange water had again been gushing up out of the gully grates at the bottom of Hawley Street, and pouring along Knotts Lane in front of the new shops by the viaduct.

She said: “The various bodies have been trying to sort it out but we are all very worried and hope it will be sorted out very quickly.”

Her Liberal Democrat colleague Coun. Tony Greaves, who represents Waterside ward on Pendle Council, said: “Pendle Council has taken the lead in analysing the water. There is a lot of iron, and aluminium and manganese.

"It’s thought this is coming from the rocks and soil on the hillside above, and is not a serious danger to health, but just where it is coming from is so far a mystery. It seems it is not
from the ordinary network of drains in the streets above.”

The problem arose last winter but during the summer LCC cleared the gullies on Knotts Lane and the drains were taking the water under the road and straight into the beck (Colne Water).

But now it is again coming out of the grates at the bottom of Hawley Street – gushing in spouts of orange water when there is heavy rain.

Coun. Mann added: “There is no doubt that all this has happened since the large housing development at Deerwood Park on the hillside above was started by Persimmon Homes and we hope they will become involved in looking for a solution even though the new estate is not on the same drainage network.”

Coun. Greaves added: “There is a suggestion that an old dry culvert may have been intercepted and this is carrying the orange water into the drains in the Hawley Street area. But it’s vital that more work is done to find out. What is happening is not acceptable.

"I have asked for it to be discussed again at the council’s next Colne and District Committee."

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes Lancashire said: “Flood water in the area is in no way related to the Persimmon Homes development.

“All surface water drainage from the development site is discharged directly into water courses on the site and passed forward to the river. This network is totally separate from the drainage network impacted by the flooding.

“Persimmon Homes is not able to become involved in issues relating to the adopted drainage serving areas remote from the development site.”