SEWAGE is pouring into a river that runs into Swindon and the Thames.

Disgusted neighbours near farmland surrounding a waste treatment plant in Purton spotted an output pipe spilling excrement, sanitary towels and wet wipes – among other filth – into the waterway near a public footpath.

Steve South complained to Thames Water about it weeks ago but fears he is going round in circles.

He said: “It’s disgusting, a lot of people walk their dogs along here and these pets could jump into the river when they’re off their leads.

"My dog came back home with sanitary towels stuck to her once, it was horrible.

“Thames Water kept saying there wasn’t a problem and didn’t seem interested but eventually they came out to clean it up, though a few days later, the ditch was full of mess again and they didn’t even get all of it the first time.

“There should be clean, filtered water coming out of that pipe but instead you get this, it’s not right, they have a responsibility to keep this output clean.

“There was so much of it and this shouldn’t be happening but it gets left to pile up because as far as they’re concerned, it’s in the middle of nowhere so they don’t care.

“The Environment Agency got involved but then asked Thames Water to look into it, which is useless. It can’t be good for the wildlife around here.”

The pipe is obscured by a hedge on a farm that is cut through by a footpath that travels through the Wiltshire countryside.

A Thames Water spokesman said:“We were called to reports of a problem with the outlet over the weekend but were unable to find anything when we inspected the site.

“Protecting the environment is something we take very seriously and later this summer, we will work with the landowner to clean the ditch and properly maintain the river.

“The outlet is used to return clean water back into the stream. During periods of heavy rainfall, discharge from overloaded sewers is also permitted to come through the pipe in order to prevent flooding of homes.

“We work closely with the Environment Agency to make sure we do not breach agreed levels.

“Within our 2020-25 business plan, we will be installing nearly 200,000 sew monitors to gain a better understanding of the volume of our sewers and reduce the need to discharge into rivers.

“The fact wet wipes were found shows that these products do not break down in the sewer network and can impact the environment so should not be flushed down the toilet.”