Swamp saga solved as Bristol Water accepts blame for years of misery

Banwell Parish Councillors are calling on authorities to tackle the 'Riverside swamp'.

Banwell Parish Councillors are calling on authorities to tackle the 'Riverside swamp'. - Credit: Archant

After years of denials, a dangerous ‘swamp’ created by a leak has finally been fixed by Bristol Water.

The organisation has commissioned repairs in Banwell with hopes of drying up the bog, which sat just yards away from a children's play area.

A large wet patch formed several years ago in Riverside adjacent to a busy road, but continued inaction left it to worsen.

Banwell parish councillors told the Mercury last year they were 'very concerned for safety' and the bog - nicknamed the Riverside Swamp by villagers - was becoming increasingly dangerous as authorities were left perplexed over how to solve the problem.

Water began pouring into the road with a large puddle stretching almost to the other side, no matter the weather - sparking fears it would make driving hazardous in winter.

Both Bristol Water and Wessex Water took samples and denied their infrastructure was the cause of the flooding, while North Somerset Council investigated to see if there was natural spring.

But after failing to take responsibility, Bristol Water has recognised it is at fault for the leak and undertaken repairs after the parish council campaigned for authorities to take action.

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A parish council spokesman said: "We had an email from North Somerset to say that Bristol Water, after years of saying it is nothing to do with them, has found a leak and repaired it.

"Hopefully that has now solved the problem."

Ben Newby, chief customer officer at Bristol Water, apologised for its failure to fix the problem sooner.

He said: "While the leak wasn't impacting the road, we do accept that we did not identify the leak on this occasion.

"We took samples from the area previously, and there was no evidence to suggest the water was the result of a leak, we believe this may be because it was relatively deep underground, but regardless, we can only apologise and the leak has now been repaired.

"We really appreciate the public reporting leaks to us, and we will always investigate them.

"You can report a leak by phoning our customer service team or visiting our website."