River of sewage runs down residential street

RESIDENTS were unhappy after a river of raw sewage was left to flow along their road for more than two days.

The problem with the blocked drain on Gorse Hall Road, Dukinfield, was reported to Tameside Council and United Utilities on the morning of February 23.

It was not until late in the evening of the following Monday that the problem was resolved.

Resident Karl Butler, whose home was by the blocked manhole, complained: “It was unacceptable to take so long to fix the problem.

“The sewage must have been three or four inches deep in places and there was toilet paper floating down the road. The smell was awful.”

Karl explained that Tameside Council and United Utilities attended the scene on Saturday.
He continued: “United Utilities took photos and then disappeared.

“I thought it would be fixed first thing on the Monday after Tameside Council’s environmental health team visited but it was not until 9pm that United Utilities turned up and it was unblocked in darkness.”

Karl added it was not an isolated problem.

“I have lived here six years and it has happened three or four times. I live on a junction and it looks as though several sewers meet here and there is clearly a problem of it blocking,” he continued.

Alan Knott, another resident, explained the smell was pungent.

“I have friends who live on Quarry Rise and they could smell it from their home,” he said.

A spokesperson for United Utilities said: “We’re really sorry that this situation in the roadway was not resolved as soon as people in Gorse Hall Road would have liked. It must have been very unpleasant.

“We try to resolve all flooding as quickly as possible when it is reported to us, but we have to prioritise our response so that our emergency teams get to the most serious, for instance flooding inside people’s homes or gardens, first.

“I can confirm that our engineering team cleared the blockage on Monday afternoon and did a complete wash down in the street.

“To make sure it doesn’t happen again, we have arranged to CCTV the local sewer network to make sure there are no underlying problems.

“In the meantime, there are things all our customers can do to help keep local sewers in good shape. By far the biggest culprits when it comes to sewer blockages are wet wipes and food waste.

When wipes, fats and grease solidify inside pipes they can cause big issues. These should go in the waste bin.

“Apart from dirty water, the only other things that should go down the sewers should be the three Ps – pee, poo and paper (toilet) – so that our pipes, and customers’ own household pipes, keep flowing smoothly.”

A Tameside Council spokesperson said: “An officer has attended the drainage issue on Gorse Hall Road and referred the problem to United Utilities who informed us an engineer was attending.

However, there was no odour at the time of our visit.”

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