Pensioner’s health fears amid raw sewage nightmare

Sewage problems at the home of an elderly Craigavon woman
Sewage problems at the home of an elderly Craigavon woman

The SDLP has called for immedate action after an elderly woman spoke of her fear to use her bathroom due to continuous and odourous sewage problems.

Despite repeated attempts and using a substantial sum of her own savings, the Craigavon woman has despaired over finding a solution to the overflow and stench.

SDLP Cllr Declan McAlnden called for immediate action as raw sewage floods her garden on a regular basis.

Cllr McAlinden expressed ‘disgust and concern’ that the Ardowen woman has been unable to get a satisfactory solution to the raw sewage leaking from her drains and manholes at her front door.

Cllr McAlinden said: “The sewage, and smell was evident when I called at her home during the Christmas period.

“This was only the latest in a string of sewage incidents at her home. Mrs McConnell informed me that since September 2017, NI Water and a private waste company, have on a number of occasions put cameras down the drains and cleared debris, but, unfortunately, this has not resolved the problems.”

Mrs McConnell added: “I have spent a considerable amount of my savings on trying to resolve this problem.”

Cllr McAlinden said “It’s absolutely disgusting. It is unacceptable to have raw sewage on a property and to put this elderly lady under such considerable stress and worry especially over Christmas and the New Year.

“She is afraid to take a shower or bath and use her toilet because she is afraid of the gully overflowing with raw sewage at her front door.”

Cllr McAlinden called for a thorough investigation.

A spokesperson for NI Water said it had responded to reports of out of sewer flooding at this property on a few occasions. “Staff cleared a significant blockage in the sewer which was caused by a build-up of rags and other inappropriate items. A CCTV survey was carried out and staff attended the site again last night (Monday 8th January) to check the sewer was running freely but discovered a further blockage on the private end of the pipe. NI Water will endeavour to resolve this further blockage as soon as possible. The advice is to only flush the 3 p’s – pee, poo and paper; everything else needs to go in the bin. That includes the wipes that say flushable.”