AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after reports of sewage in the River Itchen.

This comes after Southampton residents contacted environmental watchdogs after sewage and foam were seen floating in the water at Riverside Park.

Arnold Robinson, 73, retired, who lives only few meters away from the river, told the Echo: “I walked the dog and there was a horrible smell and the sewage floating on top of the water. It was disgusting. We’ve had it before, we’ve had enough now.”

Mr Robinson said that a yellow foam has been floating on the water for the past few days.

“People come here to relax, walk their dogs, they bring the children down to show them the nature and they don’t expect to find sewage in the water,”he said.

“People could get a disease if the water is polluted. It will be summer soon and we’ll have lots of kids playing around here and jumping in the water and they need to be safe.”

Mr Robinson, a member of Friends of Riverside Park, is now calling for action to be taken to ensure that the beauty spot is not polluted.

“The water, especially in the past few days, hasn’t been clear but we don’t know what it is. There’s foam on the water and it’s not natural to the river. The environment has to be protected,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “We take pollution very seriously and, together with Southern Water, are currently investigating reports of sewage in the River Itchen. Anyone who has further information can report this to us on our 24-hour freephone number 0800 807060.”

A Southern Water spokesperson said: “Neither us or the Environment Agency have identified issues with our assets. We will continue to support the Environment Agency in their investigations.”