Aldbourne residents angry over lack of information after sewage flood (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Aldbourne residents angry over lack of information after sewage flood
2:00pm Friday 15th March 2013 in News
Thames Water has apologised to residents in Aldbourne after sewage flooded part of the village but said they will have to put up with disruption for some time to come.
At a packed public meeting in the Memorial Hall on Monday night, Anthony Crawford from the utility company said the invasion of used tampons, faeces and other sewage had been caused by the high levels of ground water caused by a very wet summer, autumn and winter.
He said: “This time last year our problem was drought. Then we hit May, when we had 200 per cent of the normal rainfall for the month. All thoughts of drought disappeared.
“Then, after a summer which was hardly a summer at all, we had 144 per cent of average rainfall in October and 177 per cent in November.”
The net result was that ground water was getting into the sewers, which have been overflowing ever since. Thames Water has arranged for tankers to keep up a non-stop chain, removing contaminated water before it can enter the bourne in Aldbourne.
Several members of the public raised concerns that the relentless movement of tankers is causing as much disruption to life in the village as the sewage spill itself.
Some villagers said they were almost more angry at the lack of information coming from Thames Water than the flooding, which, they accepted was a result of freak conditions.
Richard Price said: “What is worse is the total lack of communication. The parish council should admit they were wrong. We should get a regular newsletter telling us the latest position.”
Another villager complained that every time he phoned up Thames Water he got a different excuse for the continuing sewage spill.
Simon Knighton of the recently formed Aldbourne Sewage Action Group said Thames Water and the Environment Agency should sit down with them and look at possible solutions.
He said: “While everyone understands we have the wettest year on record, the sewers have overflowed on average once every four years.
“We would like you to identify solutions. If we know what they are then we can work with you to put them in place.
“We are surprised that your chief executive didn’t write to everyone affected to show you were taking the problem seriously.”