Family's sewage horror

IT CREPT up inch by inch, a stinking river of sewage threatening to seep into an Ipswich home.But the horror of raw sewage from more than 200 nearby houses flooding the Moss family home, was not enough for a water company to consider their plight an emergency.

IT CREPT up inch by inch, a stinking river of sewage threatening to seep into an Ipswich home.

But the horror of raw sewage from more than 200 nearby houses flooding the Moss family home, was not enough for a water company to consider their plight an emergency.

Instead Nick Moss had to borrow a submergible pump from his friend who is a gravedigger so the sewage could be pumped out on to the street.

Mr Moss of Spinner Close told how the drama unfolded when he woke to find raw sewage covering his garden.

Fearing for the health of his wife June and four-year-old daughter Shanon-Marie he contacted Ipswich Borough Council who said he should call Anglian Water immediately.

But despite the ever rising sewage he was told that his call was not an emergency and someone would be round within TWELVE hours. Eventually, however, they made it within six.

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Mr Moss, 38 said: “We first saw the sewage on Thursday night but thought it was just normal drain blockage, then when we woke up the next morning we discovered we had a real problem because raw sewage was coming out of the drain.

“Ipswich Borough Council came round and said that we should contact Anglian Water, but they said that it wasn't an emergency and so they couldn't come straight away

“Thankfully I was able to borrow a submergible pump from my friend who is a gravedigger and we started pumping it onto the street.

“If we weren't able to do that then it would have been in my house and my neighbours' houses.

“I found it really upsetting and by the end of the day was finding it very difficult to cope with the situation.”

Mrs Moss, 44, added: “The smell was horrible.

“At one point the sewage was just an inch away from our house - how is that not an emergency?

“We had the sewage of around 250 homes on Spinner Close coming onto our garden.”

A spokesman for Anglian Water said: “This is within our 12 hour level of service agreement.

“We do prioritise and this timescale was considered appropriate to this particular incident.”

“We do apologise for any inconvenience or stress caused and reassure customers that we act as quickly as we can in the circumstances.”

Have you had problems with sewage? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail at eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

What is an emergency?

An Anglian Water spokesman said: “If we have a blockage at a sewage treatment works or a pump station it could back up and flood a whole street or town so that gets our full attention.

“There are 5,500 pump stations across the Anglia Water region and 1,000 sewage treatment works so that is our priority.

“The next level is an internal flood of sewage in house or premises which we have to get to within four hours.

“Then if the sewage is external we have to get to it within 12 hours.”

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