'There are young mothers with children that are totally devastated' - London Colney swamped by sewage after floods hit

London Colney this morning. Picture via Twitter: @jacobquagliozzi

London Colney this morning. Picture via Twitter: @jacobquagliozzi

First published in News
Last updated
St Albans & Harpenden Review: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Houses in London Colney have been swamped by sewage after flooding hit the St Albans district last night.

Residents in Five Acres, Alexander Close and High Street have been forced to leave their homes due to three inches of "human effluent".

Richard Housden of Five Acres said he was awoken to a big noise from his bathroom at 7am this morning.

This comes after he reported drainage problems to Thames Water in December because water had begun to regurgitate from the plug in his upstairs bathroom.

Mr Housden, who has lived in the village since 1952, said: "We have had problems with the drains here since December. After complaining to Thames Water they have since been out a few times to temporarily fix the problem to no avail.

"There is now three inches of dirty, brown and smelly water in people’s gardens and homes. It is human effluent.

"There are young mothers with children that are totally devastated."

Mr Housden said he has contacted Thames Water and St Albans District Council but has not yet received a response.

He said: "I called the district council and they said it isn’t their problem. However there are people here living in council-owned property.

"It is unfortunate that I have contacted Thames Water and they still have not yet arrived."

A former Highways service manager, Mr Housden, is using his tools to pump water out from neighbour’s homes and the St Albans Irish Club in London Colney.

"We are doing all we can to help people. You can’t get a pump anywhere for love nor money. "

Karen Dragovic, Head of Housing at St Albans City and District Council, said: “We are aware of the flooding situation in Five Acres, London Colney. We have people on site visiting local residents and tenants advising them on how best to protect their properties.

"We have accommodated one tenant in alternative accommodation and are monitoring the situation with regard to other householders in the area. We have also put a team on stand-by to set up a reception area in the event that residents are evacuated from their homes and need somewhere dry and warm to go to.”

A spokesman from Thames Water said: “A blockage caused by a build-up of fat, oil and grease was cleared from the sewer serving Five Acres at the end of January. We are intending revisit the area to clean the pipes, however, due to the high volumes of calls we’re currently receiving, we have not been able to do this yet.

“We sympathise with customers affected by flooding, it is a frustrating and difficult experience. We’re doing our best to help affected customers but we have to prioritise those most in need of our support.”

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