A closure of Selsey Road will take place so further investigations can take place to identify the mysterious source of the ‘awful smell’ in Sidlesham.
An overflowing ditch close to the bend by the Anchor pub could be contaminated with sewage, Chichester District Council (CDC) has said in a warning for people not to walk through it.
UPDATE: CDC says there will only be a partial closure of Selsey Road, not a full closure as it previously posted on Facebook
But despite initial checks the source of the water flowing across the road and path has not yet been found.
In response to criticism that the work to solve the problem won’t take place until February 26 when the smell has existed since before Christmas, CDC said other roadworks taking place in the area had delayed it.
After an initial post on CDC’s Facebook page on Tuesday, the council posted the following later that day:
“UPDATE: Initial investigations have been carried out at Sidlesham ditch to check the most likely sources of the overflow but as yet, we have been unable to identify the source.
“More in-depth investigations are needed which will require a partial road closure to allow the ditch to be emptied.
“To do this we have co-ordinated with all the relevant agencies including: Southern Water, Portsmouth Water, the Environment Agency, and the Highways Agency.
“We have requested permission from the Highways Agency to close the road and the next available date they can grant a road closure is 26 February.
“This is due to other roadworks taking place in the vicinity which also require road closures.
“As a precaution at this stage we would advise members of the public not to walk through the water.
“We are aware that the overflow has created an unpleasant smell and while as the District Council we have no direct responsibility for sewers, drains and ditches, we are working to determine who is responsible and ensure that they carry out the work to rectify the problem.
“We have been alerted about an overflowing roadside ditch in Sidlesham, close to the Anchor pub.
“We are aware of the problem and have co-ordinated a multi-agency site meeting on 26 February.
“At present there is no obvious source of the water entering the ditch and the aim of this meeting will be to clear the ditch using a tanker and then locate the source of the water.
“Once the source has been established then corrective action can be taken by the appropriate authority.
“We would advise people not to walk through the water as it may be contaminated with sewage.”