PIPES are being cleared by Thames Water to tackle drainage problems after sewage and flooding caused misery in South Hinksey.

A dozen properties in the village were flooded and affected with sewage after downpours hit Oxford last November and December.

Thames Water has been clearing the sewer system between South Hinksey and Kennington over the past six weeks in a bid to stop the problem happening again.

The work has included cleaning 1,900m of pipes, surveying CCTV and installing seven flow monitors.

The 10 Thames Water workmen started on May 21 and are due to finish on Wednesday.

Residents say the move is a step in the right direction but more needs to be done.

Adrian Porter, of Manor Road, said: “They have been scouring and removing the gunk which has made a significant change.

“In some of them 60 per cent of the pipes were blocked so that has made a big difference.

“But they say they have cleared a 1,000m or so of pipes, when between South Hinksey and Kennington there are five or six km of pipes. If they are finding some of them 60 per cent blocked surely they all need to be done?”

Fellow South Hinksey resident, Oxford Flood Alliance chairman, Peter Rawcliffe, said: “We were pleased to see it being done, we were told they were badly blocked so it is bound to make a difference, but it seems strange they are not carrying on the work from Kennington to Littlemore as well.”

Thames Water spokesman, Craig Rance, said: “We are carrying out maintenance of over 2km of sewers in South Hinskey.

“This includes a full CCTV survey of the network and thorough cleaning of the pipes to remove potential blockages.

“Flow monitoring devices have been installed along our network to the pumping station at Littlemore.

“These will help us to better understand the flow of wastewater through the system and indicate if any further work is needed.”

He added that the reason they were not extending the work past Kennington to Littlemore was to concentrate on the areas where the flooding occured.

The £150-a-week flow monitoring devices were installed to measure the amount of water which passes through the sewer system.

The first monitor is on North Hinksey Lane near St Lawrence’s Church.

They are then placed along the main sewer that runs down North Hinksey Lane parallel to the A34, through the fields running to the top of Kennington Road.

Thames Water will analyse the results over the next few months to see if the pipes are coping.

If not, it will then have to find ways to fix the problem.

Possibilities include mending bad piping or upgrading Littlemore pumping station.

Mr Rance said it was unknown if the problems were caused by the pumping station not being able to cope with the levels of water, but he added that the flow monitoring devices should indicate if this is the problem.

The results are expected to take months rather than weeks, depending on the amount of rainfall over the summer.