Oh No! Not another round of Sh**gate in Cranleigh?

Never mind the Coffee Capital of Surrey – Poor old Cranleigh is now being dubbed “Surrey’s Sh**ville” and shopkeepers and  estate agents are beginning to panic.

And… to tell you the truth even the Waverley Webbers are getting a bit browned off  talking about it!!!

And…you know us – we hate poking our noses into other people’s business! But needs must because the affluent are worried about the Effluent! Ok?

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Could this because all the fish are dead in Cranleigh Waters?

It’s bad enough that some homes in the “luxury market” have failed to find buyers due to rumoured subsidence problems – now “Sh**gate” is truly hitting the fan  and village leaders are getting very worried.

One anonymous follower of the Waverley Web (name and address supplied – but afraid to identify himself due to possible reprisals from Cranleigh Chamber of Trade,) said the sewage scandal is beginning to take its toll on the economy of the “once popular”  Surrey/Sussex border village.”

He said: Facebook is full of it, local civic groups are full of it, the local sewage works is overloaded with it – and now it would appear its flowing into drains, fields, and backing up in residents’ toilets! But, to have the drainage authorities admitting drains have been incorrectly connected-   IS BEYOND THE PALE!

A very detailed description of the problems facing Cranleigh are included on the Cranleigh Civic Society website  which is certainly,

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The brook is once more full of you know what!!! Cranleigh Society meeting Waverley Environmental Health today. This has been going on for some 12 years now, it’s just not good enough.Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 16.45.51.png



Samples of water from the ditch were taken and sent for analysis to an independent laboratory, South East Water Scientific Services, who found the ammonia level to be 270 times the limit and E.coli levels to be 24 times the limit.

E.coli and Enterococci which can indicate the presence of faecal solids and high levels of ammonium are representative of urine contamination.

The Cranleigh Society has taken villagers’ findings  to the Environment Agency who immediately put the ditch onto their ‘Priority hot spot list’.

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Are the authorities going to s*it back and take no notice, or will they act?

Unable to get the problem resolved by Thames Water, residents approached the Cranleigh Civic Society four weeks ago for help.

A spokesperson for the Cranleigh Civic Society said “We took a look at the brook and it is immediately obvious from the smell and the presence of sewage fungus that significant amounts of sewage are being discharged into it from a nearby surface water drain.

The Government’s Water Framework Directive 2010 states that the level of ammonia in “good” rivers and streams should be less than 0.3 mg/l, and Tesco and Marks and Spencer both state that the presence of e coli in irrigation water used for “crops likely to be eaten uncooked” must be less than 1000 cfu/l, this seemed to be a reasonable basis to start from.

The EA advised  initially that they were working with Thames Water and had identified a property in Cranleigh High Street, where the raw sewage outlet was directly connected to the surface water drain instead of the main sewer. We understand that they have now served a 30 day notice on the property to get this problem rectified. The Society is getting regular updates from Thames Water as to  progress.

However, from the quantity of sewage entering the brook, Thames Water now believe that there may be more properties incorrectly connected. They now have a crew working overnight dye testing the system to see what is flowing into the surface water system. They now think they have identified a group of houses where the foul water drains are connected to the surface water drainage system. They will be carrying out further dye testing on each house to fully assess the situation over the next week.

NOT GOOD  just another 700 plus houses are about to join the system.

No wonder Cranleigh Paish Council is holding a meeting in the Village Hall next Thursday eveningto hear villagers’ views about the infrastructure situation and the Daft Local Plan!


2 thoughts on “Oh No! Not another round of Sh**gate in Cranleigh?”

  1. Dear Waverley Web,

    The good news is that your Sewage Feature posted on 11-Sep-16 is many months out-of-date. Cranleigh Civic Society posted this news on their website in June 2015. Back then Thames Water assured Cranleigh Civic Society that, after a lot of specialist surveying and investigation, the mis-connections into the surface water drains in Cranleigh and into the brook in Knowle Lane (all mentioned in your editorial) had been fixed.

    The bad news is that raw sewage and white sewage fungus is back in the brook again this summer (looks just like your photo in your article taken last year!), and Waverley Environmental Services were out yet again last week looking at the problem. Connected with this, I assume, sewage has been backing up over the last few weeks in the large mains sewer under the High Street causing odour problems in High Street shop premises. Thames Water is yet to solve the problem which someone told me Thames Water said is caused by deposits of concrete in the sewer main, though I suspect the truth is more that it has to do with lack of capacity at Cranleigh Sewage Treatment Works.

    Your readers may have noticed that the Environment Agency has not been able to update the old 2009 Permit to Discharge for Cranleigh Sewage Treatment Works. This is because it is “technically infeasible” (their words) to do so because Thames Water is not able to treat the current sewage discharge to make it clean enough to pour into a little stream called Cranleigh Waters (which at times dries up during summer months) without killing all the fish, amphibians and invertebrates downstream. Waverley Borough Council was alerted to this problem on 03-Mar-16, but they are yet to acknowledge it because it will hugely inconvenience (pun intended!) their plan to deluge Cranleigh with new housing estates if they admit to this in public. The dilemma for Waverley is simply that they have a statutory duty under the Water Framework Directive to return Cranleigh Waters to “Good Status” by the year 2027, and they can’t achieve that if they dump yet more sewage discharge into an already badly polluted stream.

    Is it too much to ask Waverley Borough Council to sort the brook and the Cranleigh Waters problem out before they allow any more housing estates to be started to be built in Cranleigh?

    Many thanks for your investigative reporting of this and the many other problems in our borough.

    Yours sincerely, Lisa Hehr, Cranleigh resident

    1. Thank you for explaining Cranleigh’s situation in even more detail, and to be quite truthful we hear from so many of our followers over there in the East, that it is difficult to get to grips with how bad the situation is. Suffice to say another detailed planning application goes before the Planning Committee on Wednesday, and officers’ do not appear to be giving any SERIOUS consideration to your problems. How can the Waverley Web help to publicise your dilemma – other than continuing to do, what we do, but Better,perhaps?

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