Mum kicks up stink over sewage

PUBLISHED: 16:00 26 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:34 03 March 2010

IT'S called Riverside Road but the only water feature attracting attention at the Ipswich terrace was the river of putrid human waste flowing down one angry resident's garden path.

IT'S called Riverside Road but the only water feature attracting attention at the Ipswich terrace was the river of putrid human waste flowing down one angry resident's garden path.

Now fed-up mum-of-two Sarah Williams has decided to kick up a stink about the sewer beneath her house, which she says has flooded ten times in the last 18 months covering her garden with excrement and leaving a lingering nasty niff even after the waste has been cleared away.

"It wells up in front of the shed, when the sun comes out there are flies everywhere," said Miss Williams, 24, speaking after the most recent drenching.

"It was outrageous, I have never seen it that bad before. There was a dead rat rolling around, lumps of solid waste, sanitary products, basically everything that goes down the toilet came back up."

According to Miss Williams it only takes a moderate rain shower for the stinking sewerage to flood, lifting the manhole cover off the path and coating the garden and children's toys in human waste.

"We literally have a river running down the garden path. I tried putting a paving slab over the manhole to keep it down but that just got lifted off and I tried a garden roller but even that moved and it wasn't even a torrential downpour.

"I would understand if it only happened after a really heavy storm but it's happening more and more often. There has got to be something they can do, the problem is not just going to go away."

Miss Williams, who has two children Kaine, four, and Lydia, one, says she has contacted the council, Ofwat – the official water watchdog, and Anglian Water but no one has come up with a long-term answer.

A contractor for Anglian Water is sent to clean up the mess after each flooding but Miss Williams said it took nearly 30 hours after the most recent drenching on Tuesday last week before someone came round.

On previous occasions she claims the contractors have not done the job properly, sometimes leaving piles of excrement untouched.

"Nobody is going to help until one of us falls ill," she said.

Neighbour Elaine Davies, 40, who has been flooded out three times already this month, said that the problem had become worse since the new Cardinal Gardens development was started.

Putrid water bubbles up through the holes in her manhole cover in the garden and the soak away for the washing machine.

"The first time it happened was 18 months ago, but that was once and after a really heavy shower of rain but since they started building it happened about three or four times a month," she said.

A spokeswoman for Anglian Water said that the company apologised for the problems, which were under investigation.

"We apologise to Miss Williams that this has happened. We are taking the matter seriously. We know that there are problems and we are investigating but there is no quick answer and we don't want to cause problems elsewhere by opting for a quick fix.

"We made an appointment to see Miss Williams' neighbour and we were hoping to catch up with Miss Williams then."

The spokeswoman extended her apologises for the time it took contractors to call and added that it was "a very busy time" for the company.

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