Louth residents’ anger over flooding

The flooding on Eastfield Road, Louth, led to sewage water and human waste being scattered across the road and pavement. EMN-140906-191355001
The flooding on Eastfield Road, Louth, led to sewage water and human waste being scattered across the road and pavement. EMN-140906-191355001

Residents on Eastfield Road in Louth have spoken of their despair after a faulty manhole cover has continued to cause problems with flooding.

The problem was most recently highlighted just a few weeks ago, when a heavy rainstorm on the evening of June 9 overwhelmed the drainage system on the street.

Just half an hour of heavy rainfall was enough to cause problems, and the excess water caused a build up of pressure beneath the manhole cover in the road until it reached breaking point and was forced upwards, spewing out sewage water which included human waste and used toilet paper.

Police attended the scene to guide cars safely through the flooded road, and to warn pedestrians to watch out for excrement and dirty water that had littered both the road and the pavements on one side.

Eastfield Road resident Angie Tunnicliffe and her husband Andy condemned the lack of action that has been taken by Anglian Water so far.

The problems with flooding on the street has affected their home badly, and on one occasion sewage water crept into their garage and damaged items within.

The couple say that Anglian Water have assured them that work will be taken to fix the issue between August and December this year, but after suffering with the flooding problems over the last ten years it is no surprise that they have little faith in the company.

Angie said: “I think it’s absolutely disgraceful. Anglian Water have just got no concern whatsoever about it.

“They say they’ve spent these millions of pounds trying to sort it out, but have they?

“If they have, and they knew about it last August, then why wasn’t it done before?”

Angie added: “It’s not their houses that are flooding with sewage - it’s ours.

“If it was gas or electricity, or television or telephone, I would go elsewhere - but we can’t with Anglian Water.

“We are stuck with them, but I feel like the company just don’t care.”

With reference to Anglian Water’s claim that they will work to fix the issue later this year, Andy said: “I am pleased that they’re doing something about it, although it’s long overdue. It should have been sorted earlier, but if they can sort it then I will be delighted.”

Ben and Kate Williamson, who have lived in Eastfield Road for eight years, are equally concerned about the flooding.

“At one point it flooded our garage, and we now usually have sandbag up the garage if there is heavy rain,” said Ben.

Kate added: “We have a one-year-old and a three-year-old, and you just worry about their health and safety, especially when the sewage has been however many inches up your garage wall, across your garden, and down your drive.”

Both families stated their concerns about proposals to build new homes on land adjacent to Eastfield Road which they believe will overwhelm the drainage system even further if they go ahead, and a lack of communication from Anglian Water.

Dave Altoft, who has lived in a house right next to the faulty manhole cover since 1987, added: “You report the problem and they come down and say there’s no problem.

“There clearly is a problem, but they just don’t come down when it’s happening!”

In a statement, an Anglian Water spokesperson said: “We’re genuinely sorry that periods of very heavy rain cause flooding to customers on Eastfield Road.

“When flood water from heavy downpours gets into the main sewer it can cause the system to back up and overflow. This can be exacerbated in streets near rivers where the water table is naturally high.

“We are truly sorry for any distress caused to residents and we are looking at the options available to reduce the risk of flooding to these properties.”