Residents' anger as '˜worst ever' sewage flows into drainage ditch around homes

HAYLING Island's residents have hit out after raw sewage leaked into a drainage ditch surrounding peoples homes.

Monday, 17th September 2018, 6:31 pm
Updated Monday, 17th September 2018, 7:43 pm
Richard Platt points to the manhole cover from which he believes the leak started

Residents claim the '˜catastrophic' spillage is the worst in a series of ongoing leaks. 

Resident Richard Platt, said: '˜This is a serious catastrophe. It is the worst I have ever seen. The leak started at around 11 on Friday night and went on for went on for 36 hours. It stunk like hell.'

Fellow resident Caroline Mead is often the first to know if a leak is imminent as her toilet will start to fill with effluent.

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Richard Platt points to the manhole cover from which he believes the leak started

She said: '˜It happens about three times a year. I have seen where the toilet is full to the brim. I can't use any water appliances or I will end up with sewage flowing into the house.'

The main problem is centred in the village of Stoke and the island's main pumping station. A drainage ditch surrounding the resident's homes became filled with raw sewage after a backlog of sewage effluent overflowed from a manhole cover. 

'˜At one point there was a foot of raw sewage flowing through the ditch at the bottom of my land. Since the incident happened I have felt ill and I know other residents have as well,' added Mr Platt.

In addition to other health hazards many residents have been annoyed by the level of disturbance caused by 22 tankers and lack of communication from Southern Water.

The pumping station at the centre of the leak

Christopher Jordan, a resident for 11 years, said: '˜I was awoken at 3.30 on Saturday morning by the first tanker heading to the pumping station. After that we had the noise and dust of at least a tanker every hour. My biggest issue is the fact that no one from Southern Water has communicated with us about what is going on.'

Resident Robin Blackwell believes the situation could have been averted. '˜The situation of exposure to raw sewage is unacceptable. I believe with regular maintenance this situation could have been avoided,' explained Mr Blackwell.

A spokesperson from Southern Water said: '˜We understand the strength of feeling. We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and our specialist team has been on site carrying out a full clean up using equipment including tankers and sand bags.' 

Caroline Mead and Richard Platt point towards drainage ditch
Remaining sewage effluent flowing through drainage ditch