Raw sewage floods Stevenage music studio
PUBLISHED: 17:32 28 June 2018
A water company has apologised after workers clearing a drain in Stevenage inadvertently sent raw sewage flying out of a toilet, flooding a music studio.
Carl Dawson, who owns and runs SoundView Studios in Wedgwood Way, showed the Comet CCTV footage in which the deluge could be seen reaching the building’s front door within minutes.
As well as wrecking his carpets and walls, the revolting mess has left him needing to replace some 10 guitar amplifiers and other specialist equipment – and he fears it might end up forcing him out of business.
“It’s soul-destroying,” he told the Comet. “You spend six years building something up, for this to happen.
“It’s a passion and it’s come to a complete halt – I can’t trade, I can’t work from there. It’s raw sewage. It’s devastating.”
The flood happened shortly before 4pm on Tuesday, June 19 – just as two youngsters were leaving the studios after a drum lesson with one of the teachers based there. Contractors from Lanes for Drains – working on behalf of Thames Water – were clearing blocked drains.
“They did clear the drains – right into my studio,” said Carl.
“It went two feet up from the rim of the toilet, coming out at a rate of knots. The manhole cover is only about six feet away.
“You can’t clean carpets that have been in that lot. You don’t have a hope. It’s got underneath the carpets and you’re not going to be able to clean that or disinfect it, it’s rubber-backed.
“Still, though, they reckon I’ll be able to open for business.”
So far as Carl knows, his is the only business affected. He said putting it right and replacing everything that has been damaged by the flood of sewage will set him back thousands of pounds.
“I’m concerned I may have to cease trading,” he said.
Thames Water has pledged to give the studios a “deep clean” and compensate Carl.
A spokeswoman for the firm said: “We’re really sorry for what happened, and getting things back to normal is a high priority for us.
“The problem happened during a complex job to clear a sewer blockage and we’re sending a team out today to confirm the blockage is properly clear before we complete a deep clean of the property in the next few days.
“One of our customer representatives will visit the property tomorrow to offer the owner whatever support they need, including any claim for compensation.”