Family’s garden floods with sewage forcing them to come and go through window

Faeces and brown water spread so far across the garden of their Bar Hill, Cambridgeshire, home the family say they were forced to come and go through the window

Sewage water continuing to fill the residents back and side area of their garden
A family looked on in disbelief as sewage water flooded their garden

A family looked on in disbelief as sewage water flooded their garden for about 30 hours.

Faeces and brown water spread so far across the garden of their Bar Hill, Cambridgeshire, home the family say they were forced to come and go through the window.

They first realised that water was leaking into their garden from the sewage drain in front of the main door at about 9am on Saturday, November 13, Cambridgeshire Live reports.

The family reported the problem to Anglian Water at about 10.30am on Saturday and the company confirmed it would have the issue resolved within an estimated 24 hours.

The mum of three young children, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “At 4pm (Saturday) I returned from a course and was horrified to find that the water level was rising.

“The smell was horrible and the water flow increased”.

The family stayed inside with the windows closed


Cambs Live/BPM MEDIA)

The family wished to remain anonymous


Cambs Live/BPM MEDIA)

The residents claim they thought they had told Anglian Water on their first call that there were children living in the property.

But records from Anglian Water say that there was no mention of children at that time.

If Anglian Water is aware that there are children in the house they aim to visit the property within six hours.

Because Anglian Water said they did not know about this during the first call, an estimated 24 hour level of service was quoted instead.

Anglian Water also explained: “While our aim is to respond as quickly as possible, we always need to prioritise work in order of urgency”.

It wasn’t until the second call at about 5pm from the residents that Anglian Water said they were made aware that three young children, aged 12, 10 and 6, lived at the house too.

Anglian Water said: “The customer called back at about 17.00hrs to say they were unhappy with this level of service and that there were children in the home. Unfortunately, at this time we did not have any technicians available to attend the property”.

During the time that the family waited for a technician to arrive, they say the sewage water continued to fill their garden.

To their horror, the mum said the sewage filling their garden was human waste from multiple houses on the same street, but their home was the only affected property.

The mum said: “I looked hopelessly on my back and front garden. I realised that what I mistakenly think is sand is really stools!”

Talking about the experience, the dad added: “You could not stop smelling it”.

During the time of their sewage leak, the family said they did not want to take a shower in case it worsened the problem and their kitchen sink drain became blocked so they also avoided doing any washing up.

The family said they were also not able to leave the house and they kept all the windows closed.

Dirt and debris was left in the garden after the blockage


Cambs Live/BPM MEDIA)

The dad said that when he needed to leave the house he had to climb out of the window in order to avoid the sewage.

The mum added that after some time “the children couldn’t be locked at home anymore, so my husband took them to eat, and I helped them to get out of the window”.

On Sunday morning the family woke up to the sewage water continuing to run and the mum said: “I woke up early, at 7:30am to wait for the plumber and to check what was going on with the water.

“The water flow from the sewage increased even more and the water started to accumulate, so I called, worried and stressed, to Anglian water at 9:30 am”.

The mum further explains that the leak from the drain was slow over Saturday night but continued to become faster on Sunday.

She said: “During the day it just got a lot faster and everything just floated. We had a huge pool at around 10am on Sunday”.

She said the water then began to run onto the public main path on their street.

Anglian Water did later fix the problem


Cambs Live/BPM MEDIA)

The technician arrived at the property at around 12.30pm on Sunday within the estimated 24 hour level of service to clear the drain that had become blocked.

A statement from an Anglian Water spokesperson confirmed the problem: “Our teams attended some external flooding at a property on Sunday afternoon.

“On inspection it was found that a sewer at the rear of the property had become blocked due to unflushables including fats, oils, grease and wet wipes being put into the sewer. The team cleared the blockage and have arranged for a full clean up of the garden”.

After the blockage was cleared and the water was drained, debris and faeces remained all over their garden.

At the time the dad said: “You can still smell it now, even after the water has gone.”

On Tuesday morning Anglian Water sent a team to disinfect and wash down all the affected areas, including the artificial grass, which had become severely damaged during the sewage flood.

The family say they were worried during the hours the sewage was running that it could come into the house.

The mum is still concerned about the state of her grass, saying: “I have invested a lot of money to create a pleasant and aesthetic garden both in the front of the house and in the back garden.

“All the grass is full of faeces, and the main concern, what happens under the surface of the synthetic grass?”

In a further statement to the Mirror an Anglian Water spokesperson added: “Unfortunately, instances like these are caused by flushing the wrong items down the toilet, causing blockages, flooding and in the worst cases pollution to the wider environment.

“They are completely avoidable if only the correct items are flushed down the loo – that’s the three P’s – Pee, Poo and Paper, and if fats and oils are binned rather than washed down the sink.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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