Bedhampton neighbours call on firm to sort out sewage leak

FRUSTRATED Jim Graham at the home of Joyce Freer, 91, with Cllr Jenny Wride. Picture : Malcolm Wells (122097-8144)
FRUSTRATED Jim Graham at the home of Joyce Freer, 91, with Cllr Jenny Wride. Picture : Malcolm Wells (122097-8144)
Police have closed a section of the M3

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NEIGHBOURS are demanding a water company sorts out a smelly flooding problem once and for all.

Residents in Bedhampton are calling on Southern Water to bring an end to a 20-year nightmare that happens whenever there is heavy rain.

Sewage overflows from a manhole cover into the garden of 91-year-old Joyce Freer.

As well as filling her garden in Brooklands Road, it flows on to other properties nearby.

Meanwhile, her neighbour Carole Martin is unable to flush her toilet whenever there is a storm as the water backs up.

The problem is caused by a low-spot, or belly, in the sewer which can become blocked.

The drainage system in Brooklands Road and Maylands Road is also unable to cope as the pipes are not wide enough.

Jim Graham, chairman of North Hill Bedhampton Residents’ Association, said: ‘It’s cheaper for them just to come out and tidy up every time it happens. But this has been going in since 1991. It’s just not satisfactory.’

Jenny Wride, a councillor for Bedhampton, said: ‘It’s totally unacceptable.

‘Mrs Freer and her neighbours have suffered for over 20 years. I did a survey in 2001 on all the areas where people were complaining. I did another survey in 2006 and even more people were having problems.’

She said development in the area had worsened the problem as drainage had not been improved.

She said: ‘Unfortunately the pipes running down Maylands Road are about eight or nine inches. In Brooklands Road, they are six inches.’

Mr Graham added: ‘The residents are prepared to accept the upheaval that a permanent solution would entail such as excavating the faulty pipework.’

But Southern Water officials are not planning to upgrade the sewage system.

Spokeswoman Maria Harrison said: ‘Flood alleviation is always our priority, and we would always want to improve the position of all customers who experience drainage problems.

‘Our technical team has been liaising with our customer and CCTV sewer investigations have been carried out to investigate the situation.

‘The sewer system has been placed on a two-yearly sewer maintenance programme of high pressure jetting to minimise the risk of any further drainage difficulties.’