Yorkshire Water blames careless customers after sewage spills out onto street for two weeks
Residents said they were forced to put up with a “disgusting mess” and an “overpowering stench”, after human waste and pieces of tissue paper leaked out onto Avenue Crescent, in the suburb of Chapel Allerton, on Sunday, June 18 following a period of heavy rain.
Yorkshire Water has blamed the leak on people living in the area, claiming they blocked pipes by putting “fats, oils, greases” and other “foreign objects” down their drains.
Engineers washed the sewage away with disinfectant on Monday, June 19 – the day after the first spillage – but the road flooded again the following day.
Avril Hales, who lives on the street, said sewage spilled out several times before workers washed it away on July 3, but they did not clean the road completely and left small patches of waste and pieces of toilet paper in the road.
“I am truly dumbfounded. I really can't believe this is happening in the UK, it seems more like that which you would expect from a third world country,” she said.
“I am concerned that Yorkshire Water has no safeguarding practice to help the general public avoid becoming contaminated by untreated sewage.”
She added: “I am also alarmed that they have no sensible method of mixing disinfectant with the water they are using to clean down after a sewage escape. And instead rely on a man to haphazardly chuck buckets of disinfectant about, and hope it hits the spot.”
A Yorkshire Water spokesman said engineers are still working to fix the issue and prevent further leaks.
“Our teams attended Avenue Crescent after heavy rainfall and reports of sewage escaping a manhole and found the sewer to be flowing as normal,” he said.
“We conducted a clean-up and arranged further investigations into the cause of the flooding.
“We used CCTV inside the sewer to determine the cause of the flooding was a large build-up of fats, oils and greases that had entered the sewer from nearby properties and a further blockage consisting of wires, bones, metal, plastic bags and bottles, which should not be in the sewer network.
“Following this blockage we have contacted local residents to remind them of what is and isn’t suitable to go into the sewer which we hope will prevent any further blockages.
“We would once again urge people not to dispose of foreign objects or fats, oils and greases into the network as they can cause blockages such as this, which can lead to sewage escaping the network into the local environment.”