Villagers are kicking up a stink about a hole filled with smelly water in a busy area of Kilbarchan in Renfrewshire.
Residents have become worried about the crater in Station Road near the entrance to the cycle path.
The hole has been giving off an awful odour and is surrounded by bright green algae, which has left many fearing it could be toxic or a threat to their health.
Councillor Andy Doig, who represents the village, is now calling on Scottish Water and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) to take immediate action after receiving complaints from residents.
“I became aware of this abandoned hole some months ago as a Station Road resident brought it to my attention,” he said.
“There is a bright green algae type material surrounding it, so this causes me grave concern on health grounds.
“Station Road is an access point onto the cycle path, so it is very busy with walkers, cyclists, and families. There is frequent foot traffic of dog walkers and small children.
“Apparently, at the height of summer, this hole also becomes extremely smelly, so what is this effluent in the hole?
“I am demanding immediate action on this as this could be a health and safety risk to my constituents.
“I’m asking Sepa and Scottish Water to get this matter resolved, ensure the area is safe, and clean and restore the area to its original state as it was before this issue came to the fore.
“My Kilbarchan constituents deserve nothing less and I am backing them to the hilt on this.”
Councillor Doig said he had been told the issue had been ongoing for around two years.
The independent elected member added he initially got in touch with council officers about the problem but was told responsibility lay with Scottish Water and Sepa and his concerns would be passed on to them.
A Scottish Water spokesman said: “We have carried out extensive and lengthy investigations and every indication so far would suggest an issue with groundwater.
“We are continuing to liaise with our colleagues at Sepa and the local council and will offer further assistance if required.”
A spokesperson for Sepa said: “Road defects and their maintenance fall under the remit of the local authority, or landowner when on private property.
“If the hole was found to have evidence of sewage, Sepa would request that Scottish Water investigate the cause. Our officers work closely with local authorities and will investigate any reports of pollution found to be impacting a watercourse such as a river or stream nearby.
“We would ask members of the public to report potential pollution of a watercourse to Sepa at sepa.org.uk/report or by calling the Sepa pollution hotline on 0800 80 70 60.”
By local democracy reporter Steph Brawn
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