11:00am Wednesday 8th January 2014
By Emma Harrison
NEIGHBOURS have described seeing raw sewage gush down their street after a pipe burst.
Flooding from the River Cherwell means Thames Water has for five days been unable to fix the large 12-inch sewage pipe in Kidlington, which closed Cherwell Avenue.
Great grandmother-of-three Brenda Williams, who lives in Cherwell Avenue in Kidlington near the Thames Water pumping station, said she first noticed the sewage on Friday.
The 85-year-old said it was the third time in 12 months that sewage had flooded her garden.
Mrs Williams told the Oxford Mail: “We had sewage all in the back garden and up the front garden.
“They (Thames Water) have got to come when it is all finished to disinfect and clean it properly.
“I was in London on holiday and I said to my daughter I am going home. Just as well, I had only been home an hour on Friday and I saw I had sewage in the back garden at about 3pm or 4pm.
She added: “It is getting beyond a joke now. This is the third time in 12 months that I have been flooded with sewage.”
A smell is lingering too, she said: “I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. The smell is going gradually.”
Thames Valley Police shut Cherwell Avenue at 3am on Saturday.
Thames Water staff were called to the problem at the same time by the fire and rescue service.
Thames Water spokeswoman Sarah Sharpe said workers were trying to repair the pipe, but flooding so far meant they could not fix it.
She added: “Our work to repair a broken 12-inch sewer pipe has been considerably slowed by heavy rainfall and floodwater from the River Cherwell entering our sewer network this weekend. “We’re really sorry to those affected by the burst, and we will continue to work around the clock on this job to make sure we get the pipe fixed as soon as we can.”
Tankers have been pumping water away since Saturday.
Betty Nichols, of Evans Road, raised the alarm after spotting sewage gushing down the road in Evans Lane on Friday.
The 78-year-old said: “It was 11pm. I looked out of my window.
“I was frightened that the water was going to come in, not so much for my house but for my next-door neighbours’.”
Maurice Billington, Cherwell District councillor for Kidlington, also lives in Evans Lane.
He said he had raw sewage flowing in front of his house.
Mr Billington added: “I was horrified. The sewage was right across the road on Friday night.”
“I was concerned for my home. I couldn’t sleep. I had my blinds open all night.”
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