Northamptonshire family's new home floods with raw sewage

A Burton Latimer family have pleaded for someone to take responsibility after their new-build home flooded with raw sewage just two months after they bought it.

Wednesday, 6th April 2016, 11:27 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th April 2016, 11:31 am
Some of the raw sewage that affected the house.

Emily Fearnley and Chris Allen bought their first house in Virginia Crescent through Orbit Homes in October last year.

But in December they came home to what they described as a “disaster”, forcing them to spend Christmas and the New Year in a hotel.

Now, nearly four months on, they are still waiting for compensation from either Orbit or Anglian Water - and Miss Fearnley says she just wants the situation resolved.

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Some of the raw sewage that affected the house.

She said: “We moved into the new-build but came home one day to find our driveway overflowing.

“We entered the house to discover our downstairs covered in dirty sewage water which had come up and the water continued to keep flowing.

“It completely destroyed downstairs and outside and we had to stay in a Premier Inn for seven weeks over Christmas.

“we were given minimal money to live on and buy food with and are extremely out of pocket and always will be unless we get the compensation we deserve.

Some of the raw sewage that affected the house.

“Orbit rang us the other day offering us £1,000 as a ‘goodwill gesture’ but clearly stated that this is by no means them accepting liability.

“My partner and I just want this situation resolved and someone to pay for the losses and inconvenience we suffered.

“Nobody seems bothered that we lost out on our first Christmas and New Year and watched our home get destroyed.”

Anglian Water says the flooding appears to be as a result of illegal rubbish dumping – and that it cannot be held responsible.

An Anglian Water spokesman said: “Sadly illegal dumping in sewers happens all too often and has devastating affects like those experienced here by Mr Allen and Miss Fearnley.

“We know how unpleasant any kind of flooding is and do understand how upsetting this must have been for them both in their brand new home.

“The flooding was caused by a massive blockage of rubble and debris, wrongfully placed in our sewers.

“This caused sewage to back up and overflow into the garden and house.

“About four tonnes of debris needed to be cleared from the brand new sewer pipe by our teams, who attended site as soon as we were made aware of the problem.

“Our teams also carried out CCTV surveys of the pipe and found no issues with the newly installed system.

“We attend around 30,000 blockages a year across the region, costing £15m – money which would be better spent elsewhere.

“While many of these are caused by a build up of unflushable waste in the pipes such as fat, cotton buds and wipes, illegal dumping and fly-tipping is responsible for many problems too.

“We would urge everyone to do their bit to make sure pipes are kept clear.

“Please do not put cooking fats or oils down the sink, put items such as wipes down the toilet.

“If you see someone disposing of things down manholes, please report these to Anglian Water via social media or on 03457 145145.

“We have agreed to regularly check the manholes in the area to ensure the sewer is kept clear and a repeat does not occur.”

Orbit has been contacted for a response.