Cause of sewage problem discovered

CAUGHT on camera.The cause of the problem that led to gallons of raw sewage seeping into a row of Ipswich town centre shops can be revealed today.The blockage was discovered when Anglian Water probed the main sewer in St Matthews Street with a CCTV camera.

CAUGHT on camera.

The cause of the problem that led to gallons of raw sewage seeping into a row of Ipswich town centre shops can be revealed today.

The blockage was discovered when Anglian Water probed the main sewer in St Matthews Street with a CCTV camera.

Workmen had to mount an unusual operation to clear the debris after the routine method of firing high-pressure water jets down the pipes had failed to dislodge the material.

A remote controlled camera revealed the size of the blockage on a monitor in a van nearby.

Kerry O'Brien, an Anglian Water spokeswoman said: "Our guys have never seen anything quite like it before. They found a mass of wood and sawdust around 12 inches long and 12 inches in diameter. "The material appears to have been dumped in the sewer and was acting like a massive plug.

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"We had tried to clean the drain with water jets before but this blockage would have been too big to move. It took our workmen hours get the material out."

The only solution was for the team to lower rods with shovel-like ends into the sewer in an attempt to free the plug. After many hours the team managed to loosen it and pull it out.

As reported in The Evening Star last Friday raw sewage had been leaking into premises in St Matthew's Street.

The foul stench wafting from the cellar of the Francesco Hair Salon prompted owner Franco Delellio to consider shutting up for the day, or until the mess was cleaned up.

The problem had been going on for a year but was particularly bad over the last month, especially when it rained. Now the problem seems to be solved.

Miss O'Brien added: "We had lots of rain over the weekend but everything was fine in St Matthew's Street.

"But this case just shows how important it is not to put anything in the sewer which can block the pipes and cause problems such as this."

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