PUMPS and tankers have been working round the clock to remove sewage from a York street after a rising main sewer cracked.

Residents in Earswick reported an overpowering stench in The Village and seeing raw sewage erupt in the road towards the nearby River Foss.

Tom Phillips, customer service manager at Yorkshire Water, said yesterday: “During the early hours of Sunday morning a rising main sewer located under a field in Earswick cracked and as a result we have had to tanker flows from Willow Grove sewage pumping station until the repair in complete.

"We are making good progress fixing the problem and hope to have the pumping station repaired and back in use as soon as possible within the next few days.

"For the time being, we have shut it down to help prevent any pollution problems and sewage escapes.

"As soon as the repair work – which requires small scale excavation - is complete, the tankering will stop and we will ensure the ground surface is put back to its original condition.”

Earswick resident Andrew Nicols said: "The stench along the street was awful and we had tankers up and down the street all night ferrying the sewage.

" This weekend the pressure on the system became so great that a huge chunk of road rose up and raw sewage spilled out, towards the nearby River Foss.

"Some of the workers told us that this happens regularly in York. The flat land adds to the problem as there is no natural drainage.

"We believe the sewage system in Earswick has been overloaded since the building of the Fosslands estate."

Hay bales were used in an attempt to protect seepage towards the river.

An Environment Agency spokesman confirmed that the River Foss has not be affected by sewage contamination.

"We were alerted on Saturday evening and sent someone to do some oxygen meter and quality checks in the River Foss.

"Yorkshire Water had turned off the pumping station so there was no impact."