Mum slams authorities for ‘fountain’ of faeces

A mother of two disabled boys has hit out at a council and a water company after her garden was flooded with raw sewage three inches deep.

Kathyrn Hayward of Longfields, Stevenage has been plagued by sewage issues since moving into her home five and a half years ago. But on Sunday the situation became unbearable when sewage erupted out of a drain and covered her back garden in filth.

“It happens every six to eight months,” the 27-year-old said. “It starts coming down the kitchen drain. The smell of raw sewage fills my home.

“It got so backed up it came out onto my patio. It was coming out like a fountain. My patio and all the way to my back gate was two to three inches deep.

The problem is caused by roots from nearby trees growing through sewer pipes and becoming blocked with detritus.


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“Seven years ago Thames Water told Stevenage council that they’ve got to kill the roots of the trees. They’ve been bickering about it for years because the pipeline needs fixing because of the damage done to it.”

Thames Water cleared the blockage, but a clean-up of the garden would not be possible for another five days, Mrs Hayward was told.

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“We’ve got two dogs and two disabled children who need to use the garden. They are expecting us to sit here and put up with that smell for five days.

“When the water started drying out we were just left with faeces and toilet paper. I was so disgusted by how we have been treated.

“Myself and my six-year-old who has asthma threw up. My partner took it on himself and got out and cleared the sewage and now he’s quite poorly.

“I’m letting my dogs out but I don’t even know what they are bringing in to my kitchen floor. My three-year-old still rolls around on the floor. I’ve got two mentally disabled kids. I’ve just got to run around trying to stop them being poorly.

“They are endangering our lives and my children’s health and safety.”

A spokesman for Thames Water apologised for the distress caused to Mrs Hayward.

“Sewer flooding is a truly horrible experience and we were out to clear the blockage as soon as we could. The clean up is being scheduled and we will get this completed as a priority,” a spokesman said, adding: “The tree roots in the pipes have been causing a problem but this is something that unfortunately is difficult to prevent. The roots have now been cut out and we hope Mrs Hayward will not be suffering from any more flooding.”

Stevenage Borough Council denied any knowledge of the problem before this week.

A spokesman said: “Thames Water has visited the property to clear the blockage and the tree roots and Stevenage Borough Council will continue to work with TVW and Stevenage Homes to resolve any ongoing issues.”

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