PENSIONERS yesterday woke up to find human excrement running down their drive after a drain overflowed.
Retired plumber Bob Taylor and his wife Joan called for help for the second time in two months after sewage started pouring out from under a manhole cover.
Mr Taylor, 66, of Salegate Lane, Temple Cowley, Oxford, said he paid the city council more than £80 on December 3 when the drain first overflowed.
Then, on Thursday night, when the drain overflowed for the second time, contractors for Thames Water agreed to help without demanding any cash.
Neighbours in the street were horrified yesterday morning to see faeces and sanitary towels flowing from Mr Taylor’s drive into the lane.
Mr Taylor said: “I paid out £83.72 to get this fixed a month ago and it has happened again – it’s disgusting.
“This time I phoned Thames Water. They told me to phone the city council and the council referred me back to Thames Water.
“Eventually Thames Water agreed to help and contractors came to tackle the problem.
“The manhole cover which overflowed is on my drive but there is clearly a problem with the main drain and it needs to be sorted out because we want a long-term solution.
“It’s really not pleasant to have a river of sewage running down your drive.
“We pay enough money in our water bills and I don’t think I should have to clear this up.”
Next-door neighbours Virginia Stroud-Lewis and husband Glyn were also disgusted by the effluent overflowing from the drain.
Mrs Stroud-Lewis, 60, said: “It was absolutely disgusting because there was raw sewage and sanitary towels in the road and pupils from St Christopher’s Primary School were having to walk around it on their way to school.
“We pay Thames Water to ensure that this sort of thing is dealt with properly and I don’t think this should be happening in the 21st century.
“The sewage has run right down the lane and once cars start splashing through it you could get a nasty health problem.
“Last time the council flushed out the manhole cover, which measures about 2ft by 1ft, but clearly it didn’t work and there must be a problem with the main drain.”
Chris Steptoe, of drain specialist MTS, a sub-contractor for Thames Water, visited the lane yesterday.
He said: “A 9in drain is blocked and we are working to unblock it.”
In 2006, residents in Limborough Close, Wantage, ended up with sewage in their gardens when a sewer pipe fractured at a nearby building site.
And in 2003, residents in William Street, Marston, Oxford, said they feared water leaking into the street contained raw sewage, although Thames Water said tests showed the water contained ammonia but not sewage.