Yorkshire village overwhelmed with raw filth after sewer burst onto road due to wet wipe blockage

People living in rural Kirklees face cleaning up stinking toilet residue after overwhelmed sewers spilled liquid filth onto local roads.

Yorkshire Water said the issue on Ryecroft Lane, at Scholes near Holmfirth, was caused by a blockage of wet wipes.

But there are fears that narrow pipes are being overwhelmed by major house-building projects, and that old sewers can’t cope.

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Ryecroft Lane in Scholes, near Holmfirth

More than 24 hours after workers cleared the blockage and pumped waste into a tanker the evidence of the burst remained, with walls and roadside verges spattered with toilet paper and excrement.

One man who has lived in the area for half a century said the burst was the third since February and that a six-inch gush of sewage had spurted from beneath a manhole cover.

It flowed more than 100 yards down the road towards Sandy Gate leaving behind smelly detritus.

He said: “This happens whenever we have heavy rain. The job needs sorting because it’s a health hazard.”

Local councillor Donald Firth (Con, Holme Valley South) said he was called to the scene late on Wednesday night and said the road was in “a terrible state”.

“There was raw sewage all over the road surface. It’s clear to me that the sewerage system in the Holme Valley can no longer cope. And it’s been like this for years.

“We need to stop passing plans for all these new housing estates until the system is put right. That could cost tens of millions of pounds.

“I don’t think we had raw sewage running down the roads in 1821, never mind 2021.

“This is not an isolated incident. It’s not the first burst - and there will be more. They often take weeks to sort out.

“It’s deeply unpleasant and it shouldn’t be happening.”

A Yorkshire Water spokesperson said: “There was a wet wipe blockage in the sewer on Ryecroft Lane, which meant the pipes became overwhelmed during heavy rainfall.

“Our initial jetter wasn’t powerful enough to remove the stubborn blockage, so we had to send a larger vehicle out to do the job. That meant it took a little longer than usual to get sorted.

“The blockage has been removed and our teams are on site checking the sewer to make sure there are no further issues.

“Blockages like this are often caused by wet wipes being flushed down the toilet. We’d like to remind customers to only flush the 3 Ps: pee, poo and (toilet) paper. ”