Residents’ sewage nightmare

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A GRANDFATHER from Fareham says he’s been battling for eight years to stop sewage flooding his garden.

Clifford Oakes, of Privett Road, says the problems began in 2002 when raw sewage filled his garden.

He says since then he’s been flooded 200 times in eight years, with 800 gallons of filth coming up from a blocked pipe.

He said: ‘My children ‘My children wouldn’t let my grandchildren visit.

‘Up until last month I was sleeping in the front room on the sofa because my bedroom smelt so bad. It would make you vomit.’

Mr Oakes says Southern Water did not act until his housing association got in touch with them in March 2002.

He added: ‘I reported it to Southern Water in 2002 but no-one came out. Then my housing association got involved in March 2002, and that’s when something started to happen.

‘But from March 2002 right up to February last year they refused to do a camera inspection. When they did they found the pipe was blocked in two places.

‘They put a non-return valve in but all that did was push the sewage further down to Valentine Close and flood their homes.’

Southern Water’s asset strategy manager, Paul Kent, said as far as the company was concerned the problems for those living in Privett Road and Valentine Close were resolved.

He said: ‘We do apologise for the incidents that have happened but we’re confident the issue has now been dealt with.

‘We didn’t have a record of lots of issues in that area, but when we saw a bit of problem in terms of frequency of reports at the beginning of last year, that’s when we acted and investigated.

‘The sewer is 100 per cent fit for use.’

Mr Kent said the company would jet wash the sewer in the area every six months to ensure it remained free of debris.

But the residents say the problem may not only be on the public sewer, but on the pipes leading to their homes - which are the responsibility of the homeowner to keep clear, not Southern Water.

Mr Kent said: ‘We would be happy to have a dialogue with the housing association to resolve the issue.’