Families horrified as human waste surrounds new builds after heavy rain

Families horrified as human waste surrounds new builds after heavy rain

Residents living in a new-build estate woke up disgusted at the sight of their homes surrounded by raw sewage.

Families living in The Fairways Estate, in Cramlington, Northumberland were horrified by the streams of foul water that surfaced after heavy rain and flooding.

Some disgusted residents also claimed solid human waste had got into their back gardens.

Kimberley Bourton hoped to move into her “ideal home” when she bought a brand new £260,000 property on the development with husband Lee in August. But she said they’ve had “one thing after another” right from day one.

She said draining issues have been besetting her home since their arrival, with manhole covers overflowing “after any heavy rainfall”, ChronicleLive reports.

But at the start of February, things got even worse. After days of torrential rain, the 48-year-old said “disgusting” streams of waste water were flowing freely across much of the site, while inside houses water began to rise up in toilet bowls, sinks and showers.

NHS worker Kim said: “We actually had a river of sewage running down our front lawn and over the drive. You can’t flush the toilets when the drains are overflowing, it’s disgusting, absolutely terrible.

“A lot of other houses on the estate have been affected. One lady had been out shopping and came back to find her garden was covered with faeces, all over the patio.

“We are concerned about the health of residents, especially with Covid, it’s very worrying.”

Persimmon Homes, from whom Kim and Lee bought their property, said they were working to resolve the issue with co-developer Bellway, which has also built houses on the site.

At time of writing, the site was free from sewage, Kim said – but she didn’t yet have confidence that another heavy rainfall wouldn’t see a repeat of the foul flooding.

The couple said they’d been “banging their heads off a brick wall” trying to get issues with their home resolved ever since they had moved in.

Kim said: “We’ve had a lot of drainage issues ever since we moved in: we have never been able to use our back garden since we moved in because it’s just covered in mud.

“The plot that we chose has a beautiful outlook over the fields: this was meant to be our ideal property and it really hasn’t worked out the way it was meant to. You just expect it to be a brilliant new house that you can move into with no problems at all, but it’s just been one thing after another.”

A spokesperson for Persimmon Homes said: “We apologise to our customers who were affected and wish to reassure them that our engineers are looking into the cause to ensure this does not happen again.

“We believe the extreme weather caused surface water to enter the foul drainage system which then escaped from the drainage covers.

“A soon as we were made aware of the problem, we arranged for specialist contractors to pump out and remove the waste-water from the systems, clean and sterilise the areas affected at the development.

“Work is currently underway by us and co-developer Bellway, to identify as a matter of priority where the surface water entered the drainage system and to prevent this being repeated.

“We will continue to keep our homeowners affected updated on progress.”

A Bellway spokesperson added: “Work between Bellway and Persimmon is already underway to ensure the prevention of surface water entering the drainage system again, and we will communicate directly to any of our homeowners affected by this issue to update them on the progress of this work.”

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