Work to stop sewage leaking into the River Yare in Norwich could finally get under way soon.

Divers were sent into the contaminated waters in February to get to the bottom of the problem causing sewage to spew into the water from the former Hearts Cruisers site at Thorpe Island.

And now Broadland District Council is getting permits to ensure the excrement continues down a pipe away from the river as originally intended.

Norwich Evening News: Ian Mackie says it has taken too long Ian Mackie says it has taken too long (Image: Ian Mackie)

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A Broadland spokeswoman said: “We have been liaising with the relevant agencies to secure all necessary permits to complete this work as soon as possible in line with the environmental care that needs to be taken." 

Conservative county councillor for Thorpe St Andrew, Ian Mackie, has been campaigning to get the issue sorted.

The sewage from the former boat yard has been leaking at a popular tourist spot, with the island opposite River Green in Yarmouth Road.

The Norfolk Broads beauty spot is popular with paddleboarders, kayakers and canoeists as well as sailors.

He said: “Action cannot come soon enough from a public and environmental health perspective, and it has taken much longer than should be expected.  

Norwich Evening News: Broadland Council are just seeking final permits Broadland Council are just seeking final permits (Image: James Bass)

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“This is an urgent matter and thankfully Broadland District Council stepped in last year.  

“I have been calling for all authorities involved to move at pace to support Broadland taking action. 

“Public safety must be of paramount importance.” 

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The situation has developed during a time when sewage discharges into waterways have become a hot topic, with water companies under pressure to minimise environmental impacts.

Sewage has also been sparking conversation in Thorpe recently, due to a particularly pungent stink wafting over from Anglian Water's Whitlingham Sewage Treatment Works this summer.

Anglian Water assured the public that it uses "special equipment and chemicals to stop unpleasant smells escaping into the air as much as possible".