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26th Jun, 2022

Diglis residents hit out over sewage leak

Worcester Editorial 18th Feb, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

ANGRY residents in Diglis say little has been learned since the 2007 floods after sewage swamped their homes.

Many homeowners on Diglis Avenue were left submerged and some residents have even been forced to evacuate as water swept into their properties last week.

But David Lawrence and Matt Beesley, who fled their homes last Wednesday (February 12), said the problem has been made worse after a manhole cover burst open and spewed sewage into the water.

However, Mr Lawrence said Severn Trent and the Environment Agency have failed to act promptly despite the same situation occurring in 2007.

“Not only have we got flood water in our homes, but we have got raw sewage being pumped into it,” he said. “They are getting it away now but they should have done it right from the outset as we have got used condoms and faeces floating in the water.

“We have had to leave our homes now because there is clearly a health risk. There is currently about eight inches of water in my house and that’s bad enough, but to have to walk through contaminated water is not right and nobody has been able to offer any sort of guidance.”

Mr Beesley added: “The manhole issue happened in 2007 and it should have been locked and bolted, but it has happened again.

“If it wasn’t for the sewage we probably would have stayed. You can get by with flood water, but you can’t live with sewage floating in your kitchen, lounge and everywhere else.”

Adam Neil was among a few residents on Diglis Avenue to stay in their property but he said he may consider moving home if the flooding continues to happen.

“If it was to only come once every 15 year you don’t mind redecorating as it a worth living here when the weather is nice, but if it is going to starting to get more regular,” Mr Neil said.

“When I moved here in 2007 there was six of homes up for sale, so a lot of people decided they were not going to live here anymore after the floods hit.”

A spokeswoman for Severn Trent said they have been working together with the Environment Agency, Worcestershire County Council and Worcester City Council to deal with the problems in Diglis.

“We’ve had emergency teams out 24 hours a day manning pumps at our Diglis site to try to keep the water down and talking to residents to keep them informed,” she said.

“When the river levels become as high as they have been it’s impossible to stop the sewers from flooding. Not only has the river flooded Diglis Avenue directly, it’s also entered our sewer system, and blocked our overflow into the river.

“This in turn has filled the sewers with water which has nowhere to go and has therefore escaped through manholes in Portland Street and nearby roads.”

She added: “We are monitoring the levels closely as we need the river level to drop before we can help out at Diglis Avenue and the system level to drop before we can start to help pump out cellars affected by sewer flooding on Portland Street.

“We have a recovery plan in place and staff will be on site again today talking to customers about any issues they have.”

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