Smelly supermarket sewer torments Northampton shoppers as stench persists for over six months

A sewer by the Sainsbury's in Gambrel Road has been 'flowing over with effluent'.

A sewer by the Sainsbury's in Gambrel Road has been 'flowing over with effluent'.

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A backed-up sewer has been plaguing shoppers at a Northampton supermarket 'for months', residents say.

They are 'sick to death' of the smell lingering in the shop and the drain can even be smelled from the Cobbler's stadium in Sixfields.

Resident John Wright, who worked with sewers for 30 years, has complained about the smell.

Resident John Wright, who worked with sewers for 30 years, has complained about the smell.

Now, after several attempts to rod the sewers around the Sainsbury's supermarket in Gambrel Road, off Weedon Road, residents want to know who is responsible so something can be done.

John Wright, a shopper at the Sainsbury's who worked as a building control officer for Northampton Borough Council for 30 years, said: "The smell has been going on for six or more months now and no one seems able to fix it.

"The manhole cover sometimes flows over with foul-smelling effluent, and shoppers don't realise they could be walking in this and tracking it into the shop. The smell lingers around the tills and some days even reaches the back of the store.

"I'm a retired engineer and I inspected sewers for the borough council for years. In my day, a broken or backed up sewer would be sorted within a week, if not on the same day."

John has written to Northampton Borough Council several times and has taken to Facebook to hear gather residents' complaints.

One shopper he spoke to said: "We went there last week. Parked up, got out of the car, only to get straight back in the car and go to Aldi. The stench was awful."

Many shoppers also voiced concerns about the risk of germs and food contamination.

Ward councillor for the St James area Rufia Ashraf said: "I've been down to the Sainsbury's myself and can say that there is a dreadful stench in Gambrel Road. I will be making enquiries to have this problem sorted as soon as possible."

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We’re working with property managers and engineers to resolve the issue outside the store. The drains are being repaired this week. We apologise for the inconvenience while we address this."

Cllr Mike Hallam, the Borough Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “We are aware of the drainage issues in the Gambrel Road area. We are continuing to monitor the situation and Anglian Water has been made aware of the matter and will be sending someone out to investigate.

"Food safety officers have visited the site and found no evidence of food contamination.”