Boaters living on a canal through Wiltshire are “desperate” after broken sanitation facilities left them dealing with raw sewage and backed-up toilets.

Sarah Park, who has lived on the Kennet and Avon Canal for five years, regularly moves between Devizes and Hungerford.

She and others are unhappy with the facilities on this stretch of the water, which are managed by the Canal and River Trust (CRT).

Boaters are frustrated the water facilities and pump-out stations, which remove and discharge sewage from vessels, at Pewsey and Devizes have been regularly out of order for some time.

This has left canal users “desperate” and unable to dispose of their waste, while “raw sewage” has been spotted leaking onto the ground at both sites.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Sarah ParkSarah Park (Image: Sarah Park)

Ms Park said: “It’s been going on for a long time, it makes you feel pretty desperate when your toilet is backing up and you can’t access water.

“That’s my limit, it makes me feel destitute, there are four pump-out stations within two days travel but they’re out of order a lot or don’t work well.

“It’s distressing that I pay a license and don’t get these facilities, it needs to change because we’re paying to live here and we need suitable facilities.”

Ms Park’s license fee rose to £99 a month this year, although the CRT says these facilities are not included in that payment.

She claims some other boaters are resorting to throwing their waste into the canal because of the lack of adequate sanitation facilities.

Lou Smith, another boater moored at Pewsey, has formed a group to protest the conditions.

She added: “We’re expected to travel a day for water and sanitation, which is the basics for human living, then the facilities don’t work.

“There’s raw sewage all over the floor, we are fed up and we’re at our limit.

“It’s not acceptable that we’re not getting access to basic services.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Leaking sewage at the Pewsey stationLeaking sewage at the Pewsey station (Image: Sarah Park)

The group also criticised the lack of bins in the area, which they say has led to rubbish being dumped along the waterway.

A CRT spokesperson said: “As a charity with limited funds, we want to provide the best possible boater facilities we can. 

“It is really frustrating when facilities break or are vandalised and we’re sorry for the inconvenience this causes.

“The boater facilities at Devizes Wharf and Pewsey Wharf are both scheduled for repair.

“Whilst we always aim to resolve any issues as soon as we can, it is very frustrating for boaters wanting to use them.

“Once again, apologies for the inconvenience.”