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Great Bedwyn residents call for action on sewage problem
8:00pm Saturday 6th October 2012 in News
Sewage has again poured out of manholes in Great Bedwyn and into gardens, over pavements and onto the road.
Residents in the assisted-living homes in The Knapp say the sewers have flooded every time there was heavy rain for the past 20 years and now they want Thames Water to put a stop to it.
Flooding on Wednesday, September 26, left sewage running across the gardens of three homes and onto the pavements where children walk to and from school.
But tenants were full of praise for their landlords, Aster, which sent a tanker to pump out the sewage within 40 minutes of being called.
The Knapp was built in the 1960s on sloping land leading down to the village’s railway station and it is mainly the homes at the bottom of the slope that suffer.
Heavy rain resulted in the sewers flooding for the second time in two months, with manhole lids in gardens being lifted by the pressure of the system’s contents.
Pensioner Jean Cook said her garden was flooded again but the sewage did not get into her home.
On Thursday morning, detritus could be seen around bushes in Mrs Cook’s garden before Aster staff moved in to clean the area.
Mrs Cook, 75, a retired domestic worker, said she had given up trying to maintain her garden because of the regularity of the sewage floods.
She said: “I had been gradually clearing it since the last floods in July and had ordered 100 daffodil bulbs, but what’s the use of putting anything in when it’s likely to flood again whenever we get heavy rain?
“I have now written to Thames Water asking them to come up with a permanent solution and they have until October 15 to respond or I am going to get solicitors involved. After the last floods I was so stressed I had to go to the doctor and get sleeping pills.”
Jan Thornton, who runs the Knapp Residents’ Association, said: “Thames Water didn’t send anyone until three hours after they were called.”
Thames Water spokesman Craig Rance said: “We would like to offer a profound apology to those living in The Knapp who have suffered from sewer flooding again.
“Despite our best efforts to resolve this problem, the recent heavy rain has meant that the system has been overloaded again.
“We are in the middle of investigating exactly what is causing the problem, including doing an extensive clean-out of the whole sewer system and mapping the network with CCTV surveys.
“We are refurbishing equipment at Frog Lane sewage pumping station to make it more efficient.”