Garden flooded by a 'river of sewage'
SEWAGE water from an overflowing manhole has flooded a family's garden for more than a year, allegedly poisoning their dog and leaving human faeces in the street outside their home.
Gillian Harness and Chris Jacklin live on Keddington Corner, near Louth, close to the Anglian Water sewer treatment centre and say they have found dead rats, human faeces and sanitary towels in their garden and on the street outside their home.
But now, it seems there is light at the end of the tunnel, and Anglian Water has drafted in specialist contractors to fix the problem.
The couple say the first time it happened – more than a year ago – their dog Molly was poisoned, which cost the family £100 in vet bills.
When there is heavy rainfall, the manhole cover comes off and makes way for a river of water that goes "over the top of your shoes" – and flows directly into the River Lud.
Deep draining engineer Mr Jacklin, 47, said: "I work in drains all day and the last thing I want to do is come home to one outside my house. They have told us that 90 per cent of it is drain water but it's the other ten per cent that I'm worried about."
Gillian, 41, explained their frustration.
She said: "The first time it happened, there was a river of sewage outside my house. They said they were going to send someone out, then phoned up and said I would have to wait until the next day.
"I told them we couldn't wait because of the dogs and they just told us not to let them out – but that's impossible. The next day, our dog was really poorly.
"When they finally did arrive, we were out and they just brushed it into the drains. They told us that they used jets but you could see the brush marks."
However, Anglian Water has now fitted a concrete bank at the end of the couple's driveway to stop water going onto their property and began fixing the sewer problem this week.
A spokesman said: "We're exceptionally sorry for the flooding outside Ms Harness's property. A CCTV camera investigation of the sewer showed us what we needed to do to fix the problem but, regrettably, there was further flooding before we could do so.
"That work, which includes jetting the sewer clean and removing silt which has collected in it, began on Monday and will take most of the week. It's a big job, and we've had to commission specialist contractors to help us.
"The blockage was caused by a build-up of silt and other materials that had washed into the sewer, a situation made worse during this summer's heavy rain. Also, there were things like fats, oils, greases and sanitary items that should be disposed in bins. These things might seem 'flushable', or go down the plughole as liquid, but when they reach the cold sewer they cause blockages.
"The blocked pipe at Keddington Corner is towards the end of the network, just before it reaches the sewage treatment works. This means it carries all of the waste water for a large area, but the silt in the sewer had significantly reduced its capacity in places.
"We've been talking to Ms Harness throughout, to let her know what we're doing to remedy the situation. We replaced her driveway when sewage spilled onto it, and also put a bund in place to divert any flooding away from her property. We are very sorry – we know how horrendous it can be when your property is flooded like this."