Hampshire village braced as threat of flooding grows

SEWAGE WOE From left, Tony Higham chairman of the Hambledon Flood Action Group and Mik Norman chairman of the parish council with some of the sand bags left for residents. Picture: Paul Jacobs (1459-1)
SEWAGE WOE From left, Tony Higham chairman of the Hambledon Flood Action Group and Mik Norman chairman of the parish council with some of the sand bags left for residents. Picture: Paul Jacobs (1459-1)

Aldi’s £10 gin is one of the world’s best, vote judges

1
Have your say

RAW sewage is threatening to inundate a village because of heavy rain and an out-of-date pumping station.

Hundreds of sandbags are being delivered to residents in Hambledon as groundwater levels continue to rise.

LEAK ''Hambledon was hit by a sewage spill. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (1459-2)

LEAK ''Hambledon was hit by a sewage spill. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (1459-2)

The geology of the village means there is normally a time lag after heavy rain. So rain or shine, they are expecting flooding in the next few days.

To make matters worse, the flooding is likely to be mixed with raw sewage from a pumping station malfunctioning.

Sewage from the village is pumped uphill toward Denmead.

But leaks in the pipes means that all the rainfall is mixed in with the sewage, overloading the network.

The pumping station normally runs at 30 per cent capacity, but is hitting 90 per cent.

It means some residents may soon not be able to flush their toilets.

Tony Higham, chairman of Hambledon Flood Action Group, said: ‘Children are walking in, dogs are walking in it, so it’s horrendous.

‘There was a strong smell of sewage last night and we saw it bubbling up through the manhole covers which is obviously most unpleasant.’

Mik Norman, chairman of Hambledon Parish Council, said there needed to be big investment in a new pumping station and extra drainage channels.

He said: ‘The sun may be shining, but we could still have a river running through the village by Monday.’

Officials at Southern Water said the company had already invested £160,000 to seal sewers in the southern half of the village.

They said the pumping station, which has had new pipes installed, had been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of rain.

A spokesman added said the pumping station would be run manually until it can be fixed.

A clean-up operation is also planned.