March mother’s garden floods with sewage prompting calls for Anglian Water to do more to tackle issue

Flooding on Gold Street.

Flooding on Gold Street. - Credit: Archant

A resident suffered a horrifying flashback to 11 months ago on Saturday morning when she woke up to find her garden had once again flooded with sewage.

Flooding on Gold Street.

Flooding on Gold Street. - Credit: Archant

James Hill says torrential rain in the early hours caused raw sewage to overflow into the garden of his mother’s home on Gold Street in March.

Last August, homes on Gold Street were among the hundreds affected by flooding. Since then, Anglian Water “appears to have done nothing”, Mr Hill says.

He said: “The problem was nowhere near as severe as last year, but the garden and patio was left with an unhealthy coating of raw sewage, which had bubbled up from the foul sewer system.

“This has been an ongoing problem for at least 12 years. After the flooding event of 2014, Anglian Water promised to look into the problem, and having surveyed the main sewer that runs under Norwood Road, they stated that they couldn’t find a problem, and they appear to have left it at that.

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“At one point they did mention installing a non return valve in the sewer where Gold Street meets Norwood Road to prevent the problem recurring, but they seem to have done nothing.

“All Anglian Water have offered to do is to send in a clean up crew to clean and disinfect the affected area.

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“The property affected belongs to my mum, who has spend a great deal of money having a non return valve fitted to the sewer pipes within her property boundary to prevent recurrence, however she is still affected due to sewage discharging from the neighbouring properties.”

Antony Innes, of Anglian Water, said: “We are truly sorry that Mr Hill’s mother’s garden was affected again after last week’s heavy storm.

“Since last August we have invested more than £80,000 to survey the parts of the drainage system we’re responsible for in Gold Street and the wider town, and to ensure they stay in good condition.

“However, Anglian Water’s pipework is only one part of the picture when it comes to drainage and flooding. “Responsibility for drainage systems is shared with local councils, the Highways Agency, the Environment Agency, as well as riparian owners and Internal Drainage Boards.

“We will continue to work alongside these partner agencies and customers to try address the causes of flooding in the town.”

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