A beck in Seaton is being tested by health officers after fears were raised that raw sewerage was running in water behind homes.

Environmental health experts from Allerdale council were called in by Seaton Parish Council.

It has been discovered that the smells are being caused by domestic waste water from sinks, baths or domestic appliances, not raw sewerage.

The experts are now trying to find out the source of the water pollution.

Rose Beck - behind Donald Road - was found to have 'grey water' after work began to clean the beck to help eliminate a rat problem.

Last month residents told how rats from the beck were invading their gardens, leaving them terrified to let their children play out, unwilling to leave doors open or to go outside to hang out washing.

They wanted to see the beck piped in and enclosed to prevent the problem.

Seaton Parish Council looked into the problem and Cumbria Pest Control were sent to deal with the rats.

The company found a strong smell similar to sewerage emanating from the beck. The parish council alerted Allerdale's environmental health and owners of the waterway and landlords of Donald Road properties, Home Group.

On the rat issue the Home Group spokesman said: “A significant amount of work has been undertaken to improve the section of the beck. We have removed a considerable amount of rubbish, mainly caused through flytipping."

A spokesman from Home Group said: “The grey water still requires further investigation to its source as this could be coming from anywhere in the watercourse. Allerdale Council are pleased with the work that has been completed to date.”

The agencies say they will work together to try and find the source of the grey water and work to solve the issue.

Chairman of Seaton Parish Council Mark Jenkinson said: "The Parish Council took steps as soon as it was brought to light and all agencies are working together to try and eradicate the problem."

Allerdale council said: "We have referred the matter to the Environment Agency and Allerdale's Environmental Health officers will also be looking into the matter and carrying out investigations should they be required."