AN MP has been critical after sewage water overflowed on the route to a primary school.

Robert Courts, MP for Witney, joined Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth and Tackley Parish Council chair June Collier to see how flooding had affected the village.

Mrs Collier showed the pair diluted sewage water overflowing on the route to Tackley CE Primary School.

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Mr Courts said: “The situation in Tackley is totally unacceptable, with residents having to endure persistent issues of sewage flooding across the village.

“Thames Water must step up and make long overdue improvements to the local network to ensure it is better able to cope during times of heavy rain.”

Mr Hudspeth added: “It is simply not good enough for raw sewage to be discharged onto the pavements and footpaths that children walk to school on.

“Thames Water need to rectify the situation to ensure that children are not walking through the mess.”

Mrs Collier said elderly residents had been unable to use their toilets and water facilities.

She said: “I actually find it very sad as well as worrying. It is almost impossible to make contact with Thames Water in an emergency and on the whole, one gets a negative response from them when contact is eventually made.

“We have residents, some of whom are elderly and vulnerable, who were unable to use their toilets and water facilities, in addition to neat sewage flowing onto our paths where children walk daily to school and resident to the shop.”

Sewage water flooding in Tackley

Sewage water flooding in Tackley

A spokesperson for Thames Water said that the overall issue of flooding requires a multi-agency response, with the county council responsible for land drainage and highways.

The spokesperson added: “We empathise with anyone affected and are doing what we can to support customers, including working with the other agencies who are also responsible for flooding in the area, including the local council.

“Sewers are designed to carry high volumes of water, but occasionally rainfall is so severe it can overwhelm the system forcing wastewater up through manholes in streets and gardens.

“Water from rivers and streams which have burst their banks and surface water from roads, fields and private land can also get into the sewer network and overwhelm it.

“Groundwater levels in the Tackley area are currently exceptionally high, meaning our underground sewer pipes are surrounded by saturated soil.

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“This groundwater gets into pipes through cracks or where one section is joined to another and can flood the system.

“When this happens, wastewater diluted by the groundwater backs up through manholes and spills out.

“Our priority in this situation is to stop any of this diluted waste getting inside properties and we do everything we can to prevent that from happening.

“We always offer to clean and disinfect areas impacted by the sewage flooding but this work can only be done once the water has receded.

“We appreciate the wait is frustrating for property owners and are committed to getting to everyone as soon as we can.

“Once the current levels have subsided, we will also revisit and carry out camera surveys of sewers in the village to identify areas where we can make improvements.”