RESIDENTS of a Bridlington street blighted by flash flooding for 15 years have urged the authorities to finally fix the problem – after heavy rain saw raw sewage flowing into gardens and an allotment this week.
A torrential downpour on Monday afternoon saw sewers under Sewerby Road unable to cope with the deluge of water, causing manhole covers to burst open and allow water and sewage to flood the street.
Now residents have said “enough is enough” and have demanded Yorkshire Water provide a solution to the flooding problem for good, with East Riding of Yorkshire Council also joining the fight after the nearby council allotments also saw flooding.
Andy Lowe, the landlord of 181 Sewerby Road, one of the two worst affected houses on the street, said: “This is an incapacity issue and it needs to be dealt with immediately.
“This has been going on for 15 years, before I even bought the house, but now it is getting more and more frequent and it is a health risk.
“It flooded three times last year and this is the second time it has happened this year, it is not on.”
Mr Lowe said that the Nixon family, who live next door to his property in the other worst affected house, have been temporarily housed in Driffield while builders work on putting in concrete floors to protect their house against any future floods.
“The builders working next door just couldn’t believe what they were seeing, but it keeps happening every time we have a really heavy downpour,” said Mr Lowe, who has done extensive research into the problem and worked tirelessly with a Yorkshire Water engineer.
“The capacity of the drains can’t cope with the water and the issue needs sorting.
“There is a drain under the allotment that is not linked to the network, and I believe that could ease the pressure on the system.
“The smell was absolutely disgusting and raw sewage is being left on the street.
“It hasn’t come into the house this time, but it is on the driveways and obviously it is causing problems for the drains on the properties.
“My insurance premiums are shooting up and there will be a time when the insurance companies won’t cover us.”
A spokesperson for Yorkshire Water said clean-up teams had been sent out on Tuesday afternoon, and confirmed that the weight of evidence which has stacked up over the years could lead to Sewerby Road’s problems being classed as a priority case.
The spokesperson said: “It is something that we have been aware of, and we are working closely with residents. It is a very complex case.
“We need to build up a business case to attract funding to solve the problems on Sewerby Road. Normally that would involve starting to collect fresh evidence, but enough has happened that we will be able to draw on previous evidence and seriously look at it.
“That may improve the chances of this case being treated as a priority.”
East Riding of Yorkshire Councillor Richard Burton visited the scene on Monday, and said the council would produce a report to send to Yorkshire Water urging them to fix the problem.
“To my untrained eye it looks like a capacity problem, a fundamental issue with the system,” said Coun Burton.
“The council has a role to play to hold Yorkshire Water to account and we have produced a report that we will send to them.
“If sewage is flowing into the streets that creates a health risk and it is something that needs addressing.”
There were fears that the allotments at Sewerby Road may have to be inspected after Mr Lowe, and Free Press photographer Paul Atkison, witnessed sewage flowing into them.
However a spokesperson for East Riding Council said the burden of a contamination inspection falls with Yorkshire Water, and that council engineers on the site could see no sign of sewage in the allotment by Tuesday.
The spokesperson also confirmed that highway gullies in the area were cleaned in March this year, and that they were “confident that the flooding is not as a result of any fault with the council’s drainage infrastructure”.