Thames Water criticised after a Hemel family was left with sewage in their garden for five days

The company visited the property today (Wednesday, October 6) to investigate the problem

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 3:37 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 3:38 pm

Thames Water has been criticised after a family from Hemel Hempstead was left with sewage running through their garden for five days.

Ross Linsell, of Great Whites Road, contacted the water services company on Saturday, October 2, when the problem started.

The family was originally told that they were a priority as there were two children under the age of five in the house, but Ross says he has since been told they are not a priority as the sewage is only in the garden - not the property.

Over flowing waste from the drain

The company blamed heavy rainfall for the delay - saying its teams had been prioritising customers with flooded homes.

Technicians from Thames Water visited the home this afternoon (Wednesday, October 6) to investigate, but Ross is unhappy with the time it has taken, and the communication from the company.

He said: "I continue to have biohazards stream down my back garden that possibly contain infectious diseases such as Hepatitis A and E, Covid-19, E coli, Cholera, and Norovirus.

"Thames Water or their contractor Lanes Drains called my wife to advise that we are not a priority as the sewage is not coming into our property, this is despite being told on Saturday that we were a priority as we have three children with two of them under five."

Ross has criticised Thames Water after being left with sewage running through his garden for five days

He added: "My wife has had to relocate the three children and our dog to Luton, which is a 26-mile round trip, and given the diesel situation this is not working, plus there is a cost to all this travel, food, time off work etc.

"On Sunday I was informed that a team of engineers would be with us by 11am Monday morning, then on Monday I was told I would get a call back by 2pm which never happened.

"I called at 2.40pm again and was informed I would receive a call from a team supervisor, I then called again at 4pm when I was told I would receive a call but they weren't sure when that would be."

A Thames Water spokesperson said: “Our technicians visited the family on Wednesday afternoon to investigate the cause of the problem and to carry out a thorough clean-up of their garden.

“We’re really sorry this took longer than expected. We received a huge number of calls following the heavy rain across London and the Thames Valley at the weekend, and our teams have been prioritising customers with flooding inside their homes.

“Having waste water in your home or garden is a distressing experience and we continue to visit affected customers to arrange clean-ups of their properties as quickly as possible.”