Neighbours’ gardens flooded with raw sewage three times in two months

John Austin in his back garden, which is in the process of being re-turfed by Anglian Water contract

John Austin in his back garden, which is in the process of being re-turfed by Anglian Water contractors for the second time in just six weeks. Photo: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

A Cromer resident affected by persistent flooding that has seen raw sewage pour into his garden three times in the past two months is urging Anglian Water to take action to sort out the problem, which he says has been affecting his home for almost 12 years.

John Austin's Suffield Park back garden, which was flooded at the weekend for the third time in less

John Austin's Suffield Park back garden, which was flooded at the weekend for the third time in less than two months.Photo: JOHN AUSTIN - Credit: Archant

John Austin, who lives in Station Road, at Suffield Park, claims issues with flooding started after Anglian Water installed giant storm tanks under Fearns Park playing fields opposite his home in 2007.

"The tanks are supposed to collect water and release it at a steady pace, but what happens is that the valve doesn't open up, so the water backs up into the sewers which then flood into mine and my neighbours' gardens," Mr Austin explained.

John Austin's Suffield Park back garden, which was flooded at the weekend for the third time in less

John Austin's Suffield Park back garden, which was flooded at the weekend for the third time in less than two months.Photo: JOHN AUSTIN - Credit: Archant

"We can go for a year without this happening, but if there is really heavy rain, like last weekend, the gardens end up under water and you get a backwash of toilet paper, tampons, poo and even condoms coming in."

Sunday's downpour left both Mr Austin's and his next-door-neighbours' gardens covered in debris yet again and although Anglian Water have been quick to send contractors out to clean up the mess left by the flooding, he wants a more permanent solution found.

John Austin's Suffield Park back garden, which was flooded at the weekend for the third time in less

John Austin's Suffield Park back garden, which was flooded at the weekend for the third time in less than two months.Photo: JOHN AUSTIN - Credit: Archant

"One of our neighbours has actually had sewage come into their house and had to had their carpets replaced and, when it does back up, you can't use the toilet which is quite an inconvenience," Mr Austin said.

"It doesn't even have to be heavy rain to cause the storm tanks to fail and cause sewage to flow out of our manholes - our gardens have been under water at least seven times."

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An Anglian Water spokesman said the company was working closely with Norfolk County Council, which has responsibility for drainage on Station Road.

He added: "We are not aware of any damage to the sewer pipe itself, but our teams will be conducting investigations in the area over the coming weeks to ensure our network is running as it should."

Mr Austin said: "Anglian Water have been good about sorting the mess out, but they have had to re-lay the turf in our gardens twice in the last six weeks and we are just fed up with it. We want them to get it sorted,"

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