Official indifference as sewage flows on the streets

Thames Water take their time as health risk and stench worsen

The unfortunate residents of Staveley Gardens have, since Saturday 23rd August, been subjected to raw sewage flooding their roads and pathways. This deluge is a direct result of a damaged water main whose repair is the responsibility of Thames Water.

Despite numerous phone calls from residents to Thames Water and their pledge of a visit within 4 hours, the situation was not quickly rectified and worsened by the day. Thames Water initially denied responsibility claiming that it was Hounslow Councilís problem. Hounslow however produced paper work that showed that Thames Water had Ďadoptedí the water main when a similar problem occurred last year. Residents also called Water Voice and other water watchdog authorities but have collectively found them ranging from disinterested to downright rude.

Aside from the unbearable stench from the sewage, the health risks to the community are enormous and damage to the environment is far-reaching. Surface water from this area is carried directly to the river at Barnes Bridge via rain water gutters and, at present, this is exactly where the untreated sewage is ending up.

Rats present a further concern as broken water mains are known to encourage them to swim to the surface at the site the damaged area and subsequently take up residence.

Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident. The Environment Agency, in response to the recent OFWAT report on Water Companiesí leakage performance, has expressed its concerns that leakages from Thames Water mains continue to rise.

Thames Water did visit the site on the evening of Wednesday 27th but little work was done and the team left without making any difference. Eventually the problem was sorted on the 29th but residents believe that the main sewer pipe for the area is too small making a recurrence of sewage flooding highly likely.

August 31, 2003

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