WORK to clear a chemical spill around a rural road near Wimborne continues – but engineers are unable to say when the route will reopen.

The Environment Agency (EA) and Dorset County Council’s (DCC) highways department have been working together to carry out the clean up close to Mannington Brook.

While the leaked substance is believed to be a wood preservative from a timber yard, the exact details have still not been confirmed.

The work being carried out by EA staff has now been completed, according to a spokesman. However, highways officers could not set a date for when their work in Holt Road would be concluded.

It appears sections of the road will need to be removed and replaced before the highway can be made available to the public.

Martin Hill, DCC’s service manager for network operations, said: “We have been working closely with the EA to clean up some contamination on private land that found its way into the watercourse and onto the highway, hence the need to close the road.

“Now that the EA have completed their element of the clean up operation we can survey the existent of contamination on the road and arrange for it to be removed.

“It is likely that this will involve removing the road construction over the contaminated area and replacing with new.

“Until we have been able to fully assess the extent of the work required, I am unable to say when the road will be open.

“We will however make this a priority and aim complete the works as soon as possible.”

The site is now described as in a “stable condition”.

The road has been closed since Sunday, February 10 after police had first been called to the scene.

As reported by the Daily Echo, EA staff had said the spill was thought to be a mix of chemicals including wood preservative and hydrocarbon oil.

On Friday, an EA spokesman told the Daily Echo: “We were originally alerted by police who reported a suspected chemical spill at the timber yard.

“Tests were carried out as the substance was thought to be some sort of wood preservative.

“We are working with Dorset County Council to take away the chemical.

“The site is now in a stable condition. We did further tests to see if contaminant had moved further down the water course but there were no further signs of it.”