March man, 88, says he has been asking Anglian Water to sort out his drain, which regularly floods, for nine years

PUBLISHED: 12:30 21 October 2014 | UPDATED: 12:30 21 October 2014

Elliott Road resident John Smith is annoyed at Anglian Water for not dealing with drain. Picture: Steve Williams.

Elliott Road resident John Smith is annoyed at Anglian Water for not dealing with drain. Picture: Steve Williams.

Archant

An 88 year old man says he first contacted Anglian Water about sorting out a surface water drain that runs through his front garden nine years ago ... but it is still causing him problems today.

John Smith, of Elliott Road in March, had more than 12 inches of water in his garden after the August flash floods.

It is not the first time Elliott Road residents have reported incidents of flooding to Anglian Water - incidents were reported in 2005, 2008 and 2010.

Mr Smith said: “In 2005 I contacted Anglian Water about their surface water drain which runs through my front garden via a large inspection chamber. When we get heavy rain this chamber fills and overflows on to my garden.

“I contacted Anglian Water and they sent five men to assess the situation. The spokesman said he did not know where the drain started or where it went to.

“It is easy to follow down the road as all the tops of the chambers are high in front gardens.”

The problem came to a head again with the August 8 floods, which left his garden under water for four days.

Mr Smith said: “On August 8 the water was pouring out of the chamber and we soon had over 12 inches of water right across my garden.

“We phoned for a pump but there was none to spare. We had 15 sandbags put round the doors by Cambridgeshire County Council.

“On August 9 we were still flooded. I saw a Dyno Rod engineer working up the road and I told him about my troubles so he came and removed the corner of the chamber which was full to the top. He notified Anglian Water that it needed urgent attention.

“On August 10 a card was put through the letterbox to say it was Anglain Water’s responsibility.

“Since August 11 I’ve been in touch with MP Steve Barclay and have a letter from Anglian Water via the MP.

“All Anglian Water keep talking about are sewers. This is not a sewer, it’s an important surface water drain. It’s about time it was cleared.

“It’s so frustrating. They should have put cameras down there in 2005. It’s a complete blockage.

“We were still virtually under water four days afterwards. All the lovely shrubs in my beautiful garden were killed.”

Antony Innes, of Anglian Water, said: “The surface water sewer was inspected and cleaned out on August 16.

“Mr Smith has been put on a list for further investigation to take place in the coming months.

“Two managers from the area will be visiting customers in March this week and we will make arrangements to go and see Mr Smith.

“We will talk through the problem to fully understand his concerns and see what action we can take going forward.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Cambs Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Cambs Times