A stinky mystery has been solved by users of the Grand Union Canal worried about ‘hazardous human waste’.
A number of boaters contacted our sister paper the Hemel Hempstead Gazette voicing concerns about a disposal point used by canal-users passing through the Berkhamsted stretch of the canal network which was said to be overflowing with human waste.
They said the point had not been emptied for “four or five years” and felt that it posed a danger to public health.
But they claimed that neither the county or borough councils or the Canal & River Trust could tell them who was responsible for it.
One boater called Jimmy, who lives on a Dutch barge, said: “This thing has been left to rot and ruin for half a decade. And honestly, it’s a danger to public health.
“It’s unhygienic, it’s stinky, and it’s full of s**t. Literally, that’s what the disposal point is used for, and it’s full of s**t.
“I called Dacorum Borough Council and they told me it was down to Hertfordshire County Council. I called the county council who told me to go to the Canal & River Trust. So I called them and I was sent back to Dacorum to speak to their environmental health department.”
He added: “Somebody needs to deal with this before there is an outbreak of cholera.
“It’s based in quite a pretty green area - but the sight and smell of human excrement doesn’t do much for the location.
“Boaters can’t flush it because it’s overflowing.”
Waste disposal points, as well as water points and rubbish & recycling areas, can be found at intervals throughout Britain’s canal network.
The Berkhamsted point can be found behind the Old Mill pub car park in London Road, and this week the Canal & River Trust were able to explain that the pub is responsible for the point.
A spokesman said: “This disposal point is under the lease of the pub.
“The pub owners weren’t aware of the complaint so we will get in touch with them to remind them of their responsibility.
“We apologise if we had not been able to pass the right information to the canal-users. If anyone ever has any queries of this nature in future please call us on 03030 404040.”
The Old Mill pub was not available for comment.