Residents' anger as sewage issues continue

"Degrading" sewage problems are continuing into a fourth week in a Kent town, local residents say.

Sewage began rising from toilets and drains in Copperfields in Lydd almost a month ago, local people told the BBC.

Thirty properties have been affected.

Southern Water say it is working to return services to normal as soon as possible.

The problems are being blamed on recent heavy rainfall saturating the local area and putting increased pressure on the local drains and a nearby wastewater pumping station.

Specialist teams with six 40,000-gallon tankers have been in the area since 30 October to help relieve pressure on the pumping station, the Southern Water said.

Phillippa Ormerod, whose daughter is disabled, is one of the residents affected.

She said: "We're struggling. It's been horrible. It's felt degrading not being able to wash or even do something so simple as going to the toilet.

"I feel down, depressed and I've not been wanting to go out."

Another local resident, Sue Niblett, said: "We're all suffering. To me it's degrading, we shouldn't have to live like this - it's awful."

She recognised that Southern Water was currently trying to fix the issues, "but they didn’t at the beginning", she said.

"Nobody would come. We just kept being flooded," she added.

Sue Niblett
Resident Sue Niblett said she and her neighbours had "been suffering"

Southern Water said in a statement that it was using tankers to help residents in the short term.

"Long terms fixes are a major challenge," it added.

"This is a large catchment, and sealing all our drains and sewers might still not resolve the challenge."

It added there was "evidence that some surface water drains have been wrongly connected to our network" and it would be "investigated and rectified".

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